Injury woes: Did San Francisco Giants move too fast with Jake Peavy, Casey McGehee and Brandon Belt?

By Matthew Connolly
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April 17, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Jake Peavy (22) reacts after being taken out of the game during the fourth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Peavy

The Giants’ rotation was built to sustain at least one major hit with Ryan Vogelsong as the unofficial sixth starter, but two injuries in one week?

That’s exactly the misfortune that met San Francisco to start the 2015 season, as Jake Peavy went down within days of Matt Cain being placed on the disabled list. While the Giants are correctly letting Cain take his time to rehab a strained flexor tendon, Peavy was brought back after skipping just one turn in the rotation.

That would seem to be enough time to remedy back stiffness, but Peavy’s injury was preceded by a bad case of dead arm in Spring Training. With multiple issues on the table, and with respect to the former Cy Young winner’s injury history, San Francisco could have elected to let Peavy join Cain on the DL, or at least have a short stint in Sacramento to build back his arm strength.

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Instead, they let him loose, and he’s been pounded in two straight starts (0-2, 9.39 ERA, 2.09 WHIP). Worse yet, the pitcher experienced more back tightness on Friday (h/t Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area), which helps to explain why hitters are having a field day when he floats his stuff over the plate.

With the recent flare-up, it’s easy for me to point a finger at the Giants brass and say they rushed Peavy back. But…how would they have replaced him? Chris Heston was already called up, leaving an unseasoned Ty Blach and two guys better fit for relieving (Robert Coello and Jake Dunning) as the most viable options behind Yusmeiro Petit, someone Bruce Bochy is stubborn to move out of the pen.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, though. Even with unfavorable splits that back Bochy’s logic, why not give Petit another shot at starting and promote one of the capable relievers in their farm system?

Verdict: Moved too fast — but I can see why                

Note: As as an aside, Peavy doesn’t strike me as the type of guy who would say he’s not ready to go even if he’s hurting. Dude is a competitor.

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