BALTIMORE – The White Sox are loading up for the Detroit Tigers.
With Gavin Floyd unavailable for his scheduled turn Friday because of a sore right elbow, Jake Peavy will skip the Orioles on Wednesday and face the Tigers in the crucial three-game series opener at Comerica Park.
“You want the guys you’ve been counting on, your best guys going, to take your best shot,” manager Robin Ventura said.
The Sox went into Monday’s game against the Orioles with a 2 1/2 game lead over the Tigers in the AL Central. Francisco Liriano will start Saturday against red-hot Max Scherzer, and Chris Sale will oppose Cy Young and MVP Justin Verlander in the Tigers series finale Sunday night on ESPN.
An MRI taken Monday revealed that Floyd has a muscle strain and no structural damage in the elbow.
The Sox haven’t decided who will start Wednesday against the Orioles. Long reliever and former starter Philip Humber is a good possibility. Lefty Hector Santiago, who pitched four-plus innings against the Mariners on Sunday, is also an option, manager Robin Ventura said. Dylan Axelrod was scratched from his start at AAA Charlotte, so he is also a possibility to face Baltimore on Wednesday.
Peavy doesn’t need the extra rest but two extra days won’t hurt him at this point in the season.
“It helps,” Ventura said. “He’s proved over the year that’s a good couple days to give him. The opportunity is available to have two long guys [against the Orioles] … [and having Peavy] going against a team you’re battling. There are a lot of positives the way I look at it.”
Floyd won’t have to go on the disabled list because the September 1 roster expansion date is around the corner. He should be well enough to contribute in September in some capacity, although a second flareup of his elbow is worrisome. He went on the disabled list for the first time in his career in early July.
“The part that concerns you is he already had the DL stint before,” Ventura said. “Once he starts saying it wasn’t feeling right, you just don’t like to send him back out there. It concerns you enough when you’re dealing with a guy’s future.”