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Jake Peavy? Never Heard Of Him: Cubs vs. Padres, Friday 5/22, 9:05 CT

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Got your attention, right? Of course I've heard of Jake Peavy; I haven't done a site search but he may be the single non-Cub player with the most words written about him at BCB since the rumors of him being dealt to the Cubs first surfaced last fall.

Peavy is a fine pitcher. He has won a Cy Young Award. I'm not surprised he turned down the deal to the White Sox -- first, he apparently likes to hit (.178 lifetime BA, 2 homers), and second, the Cell is a launching pad which would likely make him a worse pitcher than he is now. His numbers this year are pedestrian, although he is third in the NL in strikeouts with 69 -- oddly enough, right behind Javier Vazquez, who is having a better year than Peavy, having switched back to the National League where his numbers were always better than in his AL days. Park effects don't just affect hitters, obviously. Peavy's career road ERA is a full run higher (3.82) than his ERA at Petco (2.81), and he has allowed a lot more HR on the road (84) than at home (51) in 100 fewer innings, not a small sample size.

Thus, and wrenching this back to a Cub viewpoint, I would not ship four top young players (which is what the White Sox were going to do) for Peavy, who has a heavily backloaded contract that would cost the Cubs (approximately) $63 million, including, from what I understand, the automatic exercising of the $22 million last-year option on that deal.

Peavy would be an expensive luxury for the Cubs. What this team needs now is more offense, which I hope they will begin exhibiting tonight against Mr. Peavy himself.

See this link for further discussion of the roster move sending Rich Harden to the DL retroactive to May 18. Randy Wells will take his spot in the rotation (for now) and start tomorrow night.

Rob Neyer quotes Bruce Miles and joins the Jake Fox bandwagon.

Oh, and in case you hadn't noticed: the Cubs and Padres will be playing the only NL games on the schedule this weekend; everyone else is dipping their toes into the interleague pool. I'm not usually that fond of Bleacher Report, but today they have a good roundtable discussion on interleague play featuring some well-known bloggers including David Pinto of Baseball Musings.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
Carlos Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Jake Peavy
Jake Peavy
Padres
3-1 W-L 3-5
4.50 ERA 3.82
33 SO 69
14 BB 19
4 HR 7
vs. SD -- vs. Cubs

Jake Peavy faced the Cubs at Wrigley Field 10 days ago on May 12; he pitched well enough, but allowed a two-run homer to Milton Bradley, which turned out to be the difference in the game. Alfonso Soriano is 6-for-13 lifetime (two homers) vs. Peavy. As he has for most of his career, Peavy has a much lower ERA at Petco (3.47) than on the road (4.32) in 2009.

Z was on the DL when the Padres were in town, so he has not faced them since 2008, when he beat them twice, once at home and on June 2 at Petco. He handles most of the current Padres well; not one of their active roster has ever homered off him. Even Brian Giles, longtime Cub-killer, is only 2-for-16 against Z.

WGN is carrying tonight's game, so once again, it's available outside the Chicago area. For today's other games see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Overflow comment threads will post today at 10 pm, 11 pm and 11:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.