CHICAGO -- Barring a startling White Sox comeback into American League Central contention, Jake Peavy has thrown his last pitch of the 2011 season.
White Sox pitching Don Cooper and Peavy spoke to MLB.com about that decision on Saturday.
"Jake right now is shut down," said Cooper of the right-handed starter. "The things we are looking at right now are, one, we want to win as many games as we can. Two, we want to keep everybody strong and healthy and continue to finish this season strong."
"With the way we are playing and with how it looks for us winning, and just where we are at in the season, they made a decision to start to rest and the recovery in the offseason period and try to get strong for next year," Peavy said.
Peavy was scheduled to start Monday's series opener against the first-place Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field. But John Danks and Gavin Floyd both will be bumped up a day and pitch on regular rest.
Wednesday afternoon's starter has yet to be decided, but Minor League callup Dylan Axelrod appears to be a logical candidate. Axelrod, 26, posted a 9-3 record and 2.69 ERA over 26 combined appearances for Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. Twenty four of those 26 games came as a starter, and Axelrod fanned 132 and walked a mere 35 in 150 2/3 innings.
This season for Peavy was described as a work in progress from the first day of Spring Training. Peavy had surgery last July to reattach his right lat muscle and tirelessly worked for a 2012 return, with an arm program beginning before the 2011 season concluded.
There were pitfalls and setbacks along the way for Peavy, and his 4.92 ERA over 111 2/3 innings certainly was not a target goal for the 2007 National League Cy Young winner. But Peavy finished by throwing scoreless baseball against the Twins over 6 1/3 innings on Tuesday, and he hopes to return to close to his ace form with a normal offseason to replenish and recharge.
"Like I said, there are times last winter where I didn't know if I'd ever throw again," Peavy said. "Being able to come back and pitch in the big leagues, there's no doubt it was gratifying. There were a couple of highlights and just a roller-coaster ride. It was learning as we went.
"But I can't help but look forward to next year and find out where I stand, what my body has left moving ahead. I really expect to be close to what I have always been. But no doubt, I feel very blessed to be in the position I am in -- albeit you can't be too happy with the way some of those starts went."