Try as he might to tough it out, Jake Peavy was mercifully placed on the disabled list by the Giants on Saturday with back and hip issues.
While Peavy never lost his competitive fire, it was obvious that he wasn’t right. Moreover, the 2-3 weeks he’s out could allow him to regain the form he flashed last year for San Francisco—a stretch of dominance the former Cy Young winner attributed to being completely healthy, via Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News. Even a middle-ground between 2014 second-half Peavy and 2015 Peavy would be a welcome sight after two straight outings where he failed to make it past the 4th inning.
Rather than stick with 13 pitchers, San Francisco called up Andrew Susac, a bit of a surprise move given Bruce Bochy’s preference to carry an extra arm. But when you consider the extreme lack of production throughout the lineup—particularly with Brandon Belt and Hector Sanchez, the two guys Susac could start in place of—the promotion isn’t all that shocking.
If anything, this could be an audition for Susac to take Sanchez’s backup catcher job if and when a new player is added to the fold. The two Rivercats to keep tabs on are Hunter Strickland and Steven Okert, with a slight edge to Strickland since the Giants already carry two lefties in the pen. Barring any setbacks, Travis Ishikawa could trump both of them, but that again circles back to how Bochy wants to utilize his final roster spot.
For now, with a day off (finally!) on Monday, the Giants can continue to throw out Ryan Vogelsong as their last rotation piece. After that, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a spot start or two for long man Yusmeiro Petit, as no more Chris Heston-like options exist to plug into a big-league start. The alternative, potentially rushing Matt Cain back from injury, is an approach I’ve already made my feelings quite clear about.
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As far as what Susac brings to the table, not much has changed from 2014. The kid boasts above-average abilities in the squat and at the plate with respect to his position. In a bench role for the Giants, you have to like the threat of his gap-to-gap hitting—a tool only a couple guys in the lineup possess. His regular-season line with San Francisco in 35 games last year: .273 BA, .466 SLG, 3 HR, 19 RBI. Not too shabby.
Though he suffered a minor hand injury in a game in Sacramento last week, there’s no reason Susac can’t contribute immediately—something Bochy has already made clear, telling Baggarly, “He’s a guy who will be in the mix.”
With Belt and Sanchez both hitless over the past week, I would certainly hope so.