Per multiple reports, the White Sox have elected to scratch Jake Peavy from tonight’s start in Cleveland and will instead start Andre Rienzo.
Rienzo has been dominant in AAA recently, even tossing a no-hitter. He will also make history tonight, as he’ll be the first Brazilian player to pitch in the MLB.
However, that’s hardly the story with this piece of news…
Peavy being scratched would usually mean the White Sox are about to trade him. While that certainly could happen, Rick Hahn said last night that the Sox were planning to keep Peavy and Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune notes that starting Rienzo gives them “a chance to evaluate him on the major league stage.”
Hahn’s comments could be just a smokescreen and a ploy to drive up the offers of teams. While the old saying goes “where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” it’s hard to buy for a second that the Sox are planning to keep Peavy based on the team’s recent actions. Why did he clean out his locker and pack five suitcases after the end of the Royals series?
Also, unless the team’s planning to pitch Rienzo in a relief role, it doesn’t make much sense to scratch Peavy for the sole purpose of watching Rienzo pitch one time. That would start his arbitration clock, and losing a year of control to watch him make one start just doesn’t seem like a wise move. Rienzo’s already 25, but if he turns out to be an effective MLB pitcher, you obviously want to have him under team control for as long as possible. Because the clock starts the day you are called up, the Sox probably want to wait to call him up until they know he will actually play a role for a long period of time.
So really, while rumors of Peavy staying and leaving are abundant, this move probably signals that the Sox are trying to trade him within the next day and a half. Keep an eye out on twitter and websites like www.mlbtraderumors.com for the latest on transactions in the works.
And, of course, we have you covered here at Grab Some Bench.