White Sox

Peavy hopes to stay in Chicago

768318.png

Peavy hopes to stay in Chicago

Monday marks the three-year anniversary of the White Sox's courtship of Jake Peavy. On May 21, 2009, a deal was agreed to with San Diego that would've sent a then-healthy Peavy to the South Side. But Peavy declined to waive his no-trade clause the first time, opting to stay in San Diego.

This summer, though, Peavy may not have a chance to decline a trade.

Peavy's contract stipulates he can block deals to eight teams. He doesn't want to leave Chicago, although he knows there's a chance he gets dealt if the White Sox fall out of playoff contention.

"I love being here, and this is the place I want to play," Peavy said after throwing 6 13 shutout innings against the Cubs on Sunday. "If I had it my way, this is where I'd play until I couldn't play no more. I love it, I love Robin and his staff, and I love my teammates. We'll see what happens. I certainly understand the game. I want to play in Chicago, that's for sure."

There's little, if any, chance Peavy would get dealt if the Sox were winning and competing in the division. That'll keep Peavy through the end of the season. But his future in Chicago beyond 2012 is dicey given his 22 million option and 4 million buyout for 2013.

That's where economics come into play. While Peavy isn't pleading with fans to come out to U.S. Cellular Field, he knows good attendance could help keep him around Chicago for at least one more season.

"I hope our fans get behind us and understand that we got a chance to compete in this division, and we showed that," Peavy said. "We haven't played our best baseball, but we're still hanging in there and beating some good teams and playing with the teams in our division. I hope our fans see that and want to come out and get involved. We certainly can feed off that energy.

"If we're going to stay together as a team and not have some of these pieces traded away, we're going to have to have some fan support, we're going to have to play some good baseball. It goes hand in hand. I certainly expect this weekend and next week too, hopefully our fans will feed off some of this momentum, and with school getting out and they'll show up at the ballpark."

One series that fans certainly will show up to is the second installment of the BP Crosstown Cup, to be played in late June. Fan support is traditionally at its highest when the Cubs and Sox meet. In the future, though, there's talk of the two teams only meeting three times a season.

"There's no way," Peavy bristled at cutting the series in half. "How do you take this rivalry away? This is awesome for the fans and for the city, it's a lot of fun. It's a lot of fun for us to play in. I certainly hope that wouldn't be the case. We need to play three at Wrigley, we need to play three at our place. That's just the way it is and the way I hope it stays."

Peavy's holding a raffle to raise money for cancer research in which a winner and three friends get suite tickets to all three games of the BP Crosstown Cup series at U.S. Cellular Field, get to watch batting practice from the field and get to go out for lunch with him.

"This is a good start," Peavy said. "This is something thats not easy to do, but at the same time I can get a little out of my way and change my routine a little bit to help my buddies and family battling these diseases that Im fighting with them as much as I can."

Peavy wants to do more, but when asked about future charity events in Chicago, he said he wasn't sure. He knows he might not be here come Aug. 1.

To Peavy's credit, he's done everything in his power to keep the White Sox afloat and stay in the city. He lowered his ERA to 2.39 with his start on Sunday, and the White Sox are 6-3 in his nine starts. But he's pitched well enough in eight of those nine outings for the White Sox to deserve a victory.

That's something that perhaps wouldn't have happened last year or in 2010 as Peavy battled injuries and ineffectiveness. While he's only about a third of the way into his season, Peavy has finally started to put things together and look like the ace the White Sox thought they were acquiring in 2009.

"It's the first time here being somewhat healthy and being able to compete and not worry about just getting on the field," Peavy explained. "Obviously, my time here hadn't been good. But I won some games here and there, just trying to be a good teammate through all the injuries and everything else. But it is nice to be able to feel like you're an integral part and help out."

White Sox Talk Podcast: What has James McCann meant to the White Sox? Everything

mccann.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: What has James McCann meant to the White Sox? Everything

Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber talk about James McCann's breakout season with the White Sox (1:15).

Then Chuck speaks with McCann about all the preparation he does for every game (9:20), why he'll never use a cheat sheet scouting report behind the plate like many catchers do (11:30) and what McCann has been badgering Lucas Giolito about since spring training (14:30).

Plus, why Evan Marshall and Aaron Bummer have been so successful out of the bullpen (16:30), why McCann acts as a karaoke host on the team bus (17:40) and more.

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

Subscribe:

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

Buckle up, White Sox, here come the best two teams in baseball

0519_white_sox.jpg
USA TODAY

Buckle up, White Sox, here come the best two teams in baseball

Things are about to get tougher for the White Sox. Much tougher.

The upcoming road trip features seven straight games against first-place teams, the Houston Astros and the Minnesota Twins. Those two teams are, by their winning percentages as of this writing, the two best teams in baseball.

The much-bemoaned makeup of this season’s American League means seeing top-shelf competition is a rarity for any team playing outside the AL East. The Astros are a mile ahead of the rest of the AL West. The Twins have appeared, so far, as the only team capable of winning an aggressively weak AL Central. The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays — three teams the White Sox have already seen one time apiece — will battle it out for the AL East crown all season long, but let’s be honest, they all seem safe bets to make the postseason.

The fact that the five teams likely to make the playoffs have already put themselves ahead of the competition and it’s not even Memorial Day is its own discussion topic as the rebuilding trend sweeps through the Junior Circuit. But for the 2019 edition of the Chicago White Sox, specifically, it just means that this week is not likely to be a good one.

In the 10 games they played against the Rays, Yankees and Red Sox, the White Sox went 3-7. They were pasted by the Rays and Red Sox, who combined to outscore them 58-18 in seven games on the South Side, and they took two of three from the Yankees in The Bronx.

Of course, any expectations can be dashed in a small portion of a 162-game season. Cast your mind back to 2017, when the White Sox swept a three-game series from the soon-to-be world-champion Astros. The South Siders finished with 95 losses that season, but for three games in August, they had the champs’ number.

Will this week go similarly? Maybe. But it doesn’t seem likely.

The Astros are on fire, or at least they were before the Red Sox snapped their 10-game winning streak Sunday. That doesn’t change the fact that the Astros boast a plus-92 run differential that counts as the best in the game. Or their 3.43 team ERA (second in the AL). Or their .279 team batting average and jaw-dropping .353 team on-base percentage, both marks the best in baseball.

The Twins, the division rivals the White Sox will see for the first time in 2019 beginning Friday, aren’t far behind. That offense has been sensational, too, through the season’s first two months, owning baseball’s second best run differential (plus-77) and its second best team batting average (.270). No team in either league has hit more homers than the Twins, who have launched 87 of them in 45 games.

The White Sox, meanwhile, have a fragile, injury-affected starting rotation — after Sunday’s game, manager Rick Renteria did not share who’s starting Monday’s game — and a pitching staff with a 5.09 ERA that’s given up 68 homers this season. Sunday, Reynaldo Lopez made it through six innings of one-run ball, only for the White Sox bullpen to cough up a pair of two-run homers to the Toronto Blue Jays (one of baseball’s worst offenses) in the game’s final two innings. It was the sixth time this season the White Sox bullpen has allowed multiple home runs in a single game.

“Gulp” might be an appropriate reaction to hearing the White Sox have to go up against the Houston and Minnesota offenses seven times in the next seven days.

This isn’t to say the White Sox are merely a punching bag for these two giants of the American League right now. Certainly most of the teams the Astros and Twins have faced have suffered less than desirable fates. But the gaps between the rebuilding White Sox and this pair of contenders are not small.

The White Sox are trying to accomplish the same thing the Astros did, spending several frustrating years being patient during a rebuilding process only to come out the other side a perennial contender and World Series champion. These same Astros who are now bullying the rest of the AL lost a total of 416 games in the four seasons prior to their first playoff season in a decade in 2015. By the end of the 2017 campaign, they were world champions. That’s the template the White Sox are trying to follow.

But the White Sox aren’t to the mountaintop yet, and that might end up being painfully clear by the end of the upcoming road trip. It doesn’t mean their climb won’t get them to that same point, but don’t try to compare the 2019 White Sox to the 2019 Astros this week. That’s not the comparison that counts.

The Twins are a little different, having revamped their lineup over the offseason with free-agent acquisitions who have paid huge dividends. C.J. Cron, Jonathan Schoop, Marwin Gonzalez and Nelson Cruz (currently on the IL) have combined for 31 homers in 45 games. But homegrown guys like Jorge Polanco, Mitch Garver, Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler are all playing well, too. That quintet has accounted for 43 of the Twins’ 87 homers this season. That’s a strong core of homegrown young hitters, the kind of thing the White Sox hope to have real soon, the kind of thing that’s taking shape with Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson off to good starts and Eloy Jimenez at the major league level (and likely to come off the injured list Monday).

The White Sox have obviously had their positives this season, and they’re clearly in a better place now than they were at this point last year (a 21-24 record after Sunday’s game compared to 14-31 through the first 45 games of 2018). But their rebuilding process hasn’t yet reached the point where they’re going to be trading blows with the two best teams in baseball.

There could be some surprises on this road trip. But they don’t figure to be easy to come by. Buckle up, here come the two best teams in baseball.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.