Jake Peavy vs. Justin Verlander: Tale of the tape

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Jake Peavy vs. Justin Verlander: Tale of the tape

Justin Verlander and Jake Peavy will each take the mound for their respective teams when the Chicago White Sox open a three-game weekend series against the Detroit Tigers tonight. Here's a tale of the tape on what could be quite the pitchers duel in Comerica Park this evening.
-- Each pitcher has a Cy Young Award to his name: Peavy won the award in 2007 after going 19-6 with a 2.54 ERA in 2007 with the Padres; Verlander won the award last year, going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA
-- Peavy has pitched in three All-Star Games (2005, 2007, 2012), while Verlander has appeared in five (2007, 2009-2012)
-- Both pitchers have led their respective leagues in strikeouts twice, Verlander in 2009 and 2011; Peavy in 2005 and 2007
-- Twice Peavy has led his league in ERA (2004, 2007), while Verlander has done so once (2011).
-- Verlander was named the American League MVP in 2011, the first pitcher to do so since 1992
2012 splits
Verlander and Peavy are both having impressive regular seasons in 2012. Verlander sits at 10-5 with a 2.43 ERA, while Peavy has bounced back nicely from last season with a 7-6 record and a 3.12 ERA.
Peavy is 1-0 with a 5.15 ERA in three starts against the Tigers this year. Verlander is yet to face the White Sox.
Both pitchers were selected to the American League roster for the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City. Verlander, the team's starter, allowed five earned runs in 1.0 inning, while Peavy did not pitch.
Both pitchers have made one start since the All-Star break. Verlander threw eight shutout innings against the Baltimore Orioles to pick up the win, while Peavy allowed six earned runs in a 6-3 loss to the Royals.
Career splits
Peavy made one start against the Tigers with the Padres, but became well-acquainted with Detroit shortly after his trade to the White Sox. Two of his first three starts for the White Sox came against Detroit, where Peavy threw for a combined 15 innings of shutout ball, striking out 13 while picking up wins in both starts.
For his career, Peavy holds a 3-2 record and a 4.26 ERA in eight career starts against the Tigers. He took the loss in his one start with the Padres, surrendering 5 runs (3 earned) through six innings in an 8-4 loss.
It has been a tale of two careers for Verlander, and his statistics against the White Sox are no exception. In 25 career starts, he is 12-10 with a 4.13 ERA against Chicago.
But in the past three seasons, Verlander holds a 10-1 record with a a 2.32 ERA in 11 starts against the South Siders. That stretch of play includes three All-Star games (including one start), a Cy Young Award and an American League MVP for Verlander.
The two have faced each other one time in their careers, on July 26 of last season in Chicago. Verlander picked up the win, going eight innings and allowing four runs (both two-run homers from Dunn and Konerko).
Peavy took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs in six innings before being pulled after 111 pitches. The Tigers would plate a run in the top of the 8th inning, a Wilson Betemit RBI single, off Jesse Crain to take a 5-4 lead they would not surrender. Verlander, of course, would go on to win the American League MVP that year.

Lucas Giolito striving to contribute to White Sox 'as soon as possible'

Lucas Giolito striving to contribute to White Sox 'as soon as possible'

At one point, it was looking like Lucas Giolito could be headed to the White Sox in exchange for Chris Sale.

But when Sale was dealt to the Boston Red Sox, Giolito's name was in the clear of rumors — until 29 hours later, when the Nationals' top prospect would be headed to Chicago in a different trade, which sent outfielder Adam Eaton to Washington.

“It’s kind of like the world we live in now. Social media is always out there and everything is on Twitter,” Giolito said in a conference call Friday. “I saw my name being mentioned on Twitter for Chris Sale. I know with the winter meetings all sorts of stuff being thrown around. I was just trying to focus on what I’m doing in this offseason which is lifting and all my workouts. Kind of just whatever happens, happens. 

“It’s funny that Sale ended up going to the Red Sox and something else happens that I’m going to the White Sox now with a couple teammates. It’s really interesting stuff but I’m super excited.”

The move for Rick Hahn & Co. to acquire Giolito was the second major trade to begin the White Sox rebuilding process. But Giolito didn't come alone.

In addition, the White Sox received Reynaldo Lopez — who Giolito has played with since 2014 — and the Nationals' 2016 first-round pick Dane Dunning.

"I definitely think it’s amazing to be coming over to the White Sox with a bunch of young talent," Giolito said. "I think it’s a great opportunity for us to all develop and get better and hopefully put a really good team together in Chicago. Definitely excited to be coming over with a couple guys from my previous organization."

[MORE: Rick Hahn, White Sox prepared to make more 'painful decisions' if the price is right]

Giolito went 6-5 with a 2.97 ERA and 1.28 WHIP across three minor-league levels this past season. He admitted his mechanics weren't quite in sync and is looking to improve on that.

"Sometimes things get out of whack. I believe I let too much get out of whack last year," Giolito said. "So this year with my training program I have in this offseason — lifting and Pilates and everything — I’m just trying to make sure that I can stay as athletic as possible so I’m able to repeat the right delivery more often. Once I start playing catch and doing bullpens and everything these next few weeks, right before spring training, I’m going to make sure I put that all together so I can repeat my delivery as best as possible."

His struggles continued when he got to The Show.

In his major-league debut on June 28, Giolito held the New York Mets to just one hit over four scoreless innings before a rain delay cut his night short. That turned out to be his most effective outing of the season as he finished the year with an 0-1 record, 6.75 ERA and 1.78 WHIP in six games with the Nationals, four of them being starts.

"(My MLB debut) didn’t go as well as I would’ve liked it to go, obviously, as you look at the numbers and everything," he said, "but I feel that with the White Sox now (and) getting traded and everything, it’s kind of like a fresh opportunity and a new start to get up to the big leagues again and contribute and do everything I can to stay there as well."

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Despite his low numbers, the 22-year-old Giolito believes he's ready to play on the White Sox main roster as soon as next season.

"I’ve had some experience in the big leagues last year," Giolito said. "Especially last year, I took a lot positives away because I did experience such a good amount of failure in a lot of I’d say like hardship when I made it up and didn’t perform up to what I believe is my best capabilities.

"I’ve pitched a good amount of innings in the minor leagues and I’ve had a little experience in the big leagues so I’m just really looking forward to making it up in the big leagues with the White Sox and contributing as soon as possible."

Rick Hahn, White Sox prepared to make more 'painful decisions' if the price is right

Rick Hahn, White Sox prepared to make more 'painful decisions' if the price is right

That Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada have reunited is a nice story, but it won't dramatically change the mindset of the rebuilding White Sox, who earlier this week demonstrated they aren't messing around.

Abreu said in a statement issued by the White Sox on Friday that he's "very happy" about the prospect of again playing alongside Moncada, who played 12 games with the star slugger in 2012 for Cienfuegos in the Cuban National Series. Moncada, 21, is the centerpiece of a four-player package acquired from the Boston Red Sox for Chris Sale on Tuesday, a toolsy infielder who MLB.com has rated as the No. 1 prospect in baseball.

While the concept of Abreu mentoring Moncada has plenty of merit — the first baseman's work ethic is outstanding, and he's beloved by coaches and teammates — don't think the White Sox would hesitate to trade him if someone paid the right price. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn just spent four days at the Winter Meetings discussing how a team that just traded away its best pitcher and position player remains open to listening to all offers and is prepared to do what is must to get the franchise healthy again. 

"We're extremely open-minded on ways to continue the process that we started," Hahn said earlier this week, adding that the White Sox "have to make some painful decisions."

The White Sox have grown tired of never having all the pieces — or even more than a few — to fill the holes created by injury, poor performance, etc. They want to be flush with young talent and essentially have said anything that isn't nailed down at Guaranteed Rate Field is available with the exceptions of Tim Anderson and Carlos Rodon.

The team wants to cash in on the chips it possesses.

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While they don't have a ton, the few the White Sox have could help expedite a rebuild process as the Sale and Eaton trades have shown. Those deals brought back seven players, including three who played at the big league level last season (Moncada, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez). Some of those players potentially would start 2017 in the big leagues, and that possibility increases the internal value of Abreu and starting pitcher Jose Quintana, who is equally revered among teammates and coaches for his dedication and team-first mentality. 

Having those young players see firsthand what it takes to excel in the majors from veteran teammates is invaluable. Abreu, who arrived in the United States from Cuba in late 2013, addressed that point in his statement about Moncada, who signed with Boston in 2015.

"Moncada is a five-tool player," Abreu said. "He really has everything needed to succeed, and I know that with the proper guidance of veteran players and coaches with experience he can become an All-Star caliber player."

"He is going to make a huge impact in the White Sox organization, and both the fans and the team will be thankful.

"I already spoke with him to welcome him to the team. I told him that I'm going to be there for him for everything that he needs on and off the field."

In a conference call Wednesday, Moncada said he's "thrilled" to once again play with Abreu. Whether they will hasn't yet been determined.

When asked about Moncada's 2017 starting point earlier in the week, Hahn said the 21-year still needs to develop. Moncada appeared in eight big league games last season for Boston and struggled with contact, striking out 12 times in 20 plate appearances. But that promotion came after a meteoric rise through Boston's farm system, an aggressive path that included only 45 games played above High-A. Nothing has been announced, but it appears Moncada will receive an invite to big league camp next spring and be seated near Abreu in the clubhouse. 

Still, Hahn sounds like he intends for Moncada to spend much of 2017 refining his approach in the minors. He also has demonstrated he is willing to dig deep and make more painful moves if it betters the team in the long run, all of which means the White Sox wouldn't hesitate to trade Abreu or Quintana if they get what they want.