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."
Aggressive approach helped Reed rocket to bigs
CHICAGO -- It would be hard to top the video-game-like numbers posted by Addison Reed during his combined 2011 stops with Class A Kannapolis, Class A Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. The right-hander finished with a 1.26 ERA, striking out 111 over 78 1/3, while giving up a combined 57 base runners.
But in just two games with the White Sox, Reed has continued to impress by fanning six in 2 2/3 innings and not issuing a free pass.
"His fastball is a big league fastball. His changeup is outstanding," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. "I don't know about his breaking ball. We were talking about that last night, his breaking ball is ... it will get better. He's a very, very smart kid. This kid has a chance to be in the big leagues pretty soon."
Reaching the Majors out of next Spring Training is a possibility for Reed. Chris Sale figures to move to the starting rotation, leaving another valuable open slot to fill alongside Sergio Santos, Jesse Crain, Matt Thornton and Will Ohman. Reed has no idea what his future holds, aside from passing on winter ball during this upcoming offseason due to his high innings total, so he's trying to stick with the aggressive approach that has given him success.
"I've been doing the same thing I've been doing all year," Reed said. "I'm not trying to put any extra pressure on myself. Everybody up here can hit the ball, so just keep the ball down. You have to be aware of that and spot up on your pitches."
Ozzie to work with Beckham on pressing
CHICAGO -- As the 2011 season gradually draws to a close, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen doesn't plan to have any sort of conversation with underachieving veterans Adam Dunn and Alex Rios about what he expects to change in 2012.
"No. I will talk to one guy. It will be my second baseman. He's a kid. He's our project," said Guillen, referring to Gordon Beckham. "Those guys, they are not my projects.
"They should know what they should do. They should know how to prepare themselves to go to Spring Training ready to go. But my second baseman, I guess we should give him a plan for what we expect."
Guillen reiterated before a 7-3 win on Saturday that the high expectations placed upon Beckham, from the fans to the organization to the manager himself and coaches to the media, have played a part in the talented infielder's ongoing struggles. The lack of success found by Rios and Dunn also puts pressure on Beckham to produce.
Beckham succeeded twice in the clutch on Saturday, driving in a run with a double in the second, then walking with the bases loaded in the sixth. Fittingly, it was Rios who had the most important hit of the game, when he cracked a walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning.
Guillen said before the game that Beckham was putting undue pressure on himself to pick up teammates when they did not succeed.
"It looks that bad because his teammates don't help him offensively," said Guillen of Beckham, who certainly has put in the daily work toward success. "He's not good. I don't protect him. We expect better things from him, but his teammates don't help at all offensively this year.
"That's why I think when somebody doesn't do their job, somebody wants to take over, and they make a mistake. They should stay the same -- I'm not going to save someone else's job. I'm going to do my job and make it easier for you."
"I will take pressure off of him. That's what he has," Guillen said. "He started very good, and all of a sudden went down and started putting a lot of pressure on himself. We should be treating him like the way we treated [Brent] Morel and [Dayan] Viciedo."
White Sox host Blackhawks Day on Saturday
CHICAGO -- The White Sox celebrated the fourth year of a historic marketing and promotions partnership with the Blackhawks by hosting Chicago Blackhawks Day on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field.
Current Blackhawks Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp, Ray Emery, Patrick Kane and Daniel Carcillo were in attendance, along with franchise icon Stan Mikita, and Carcillo threw out the first pitch. Jim Cornelison performed the national anthem, with the fans cheering the rendition he made famous at Blackhawks home games.
White Sox plan Sept. 11 anniversary ceremony
The White Sox will salute 10 members from the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Chicago Police Department and Chicago Fire Department, as well as pilots and flight attendants from United Airlines and American Airlines prior to their game on Sunday. They will unfurl 10 red, white and blue stars on the outfield grass during the national anthem. A special video will play prior to the start of the game and when the White Sox players take the field they will each be greeted by a military member or first responder at their respective positions.
Miller High Life will host a reception for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Veteran Nick Colgin will throw out a ceremonial first pitch on behalf of IAVA. Colgin served as a combat medic in Afghanistan where he took part in more than 700 combat patrols and received a Bronze Star for meritorious service.
Third to first
Alex Rios' walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning of Saturday's 7-3 victory over the Indians was the first slam of his career and the first walk-off grand slam for the White Sox since Joe Crede against Toronto on Aug. 27, 2002. That Crede drive also came in the 10th.
The White Sox were hit by a pitch for an American League-leading 77th time.
Jesse Crain established a personal single-season high in strikeouts at 64.
White Sox pitchers struck out 15 Cleveland hitters, marking the 35th time this season they have recorded 10 or more in a game and marking the third straight game they topped that total.