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Blog Entry

Peavy passes first big test of the spring

Posted on: March 4, 2011 4:38 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2011 6:05 pm
 

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Friday was a very good day for Jake Peavy. And if he continues to progress like this, it could be a very good spring for the Chicago White Sox.

Working two of the most important innings he's ever pitched, Peavy passed a significant test here in his first time back on a major-league mound since tearing his latissimus dorsi muscle completely from the bone under his right shoulder last July 6.

"I'm relieved, pleased," Peavy said after the two-inning outing against the Angels. "It was a good day, a big step in the right direction. To get in a game, I did what I expected, what I hoped I'd do. I was able to turn it up a level.

"I did what I was hoping to do. I got big league hitters out and felt normal doing it."

Peavy faced the minimum of six hitters over the two innings. He threw his fastball, cut fastball and breaking ball, but no change-ups. With his fastball, he pitched in the 90-91 m.p.h. range, with a couple at 92.

Before the injury, his fastball averaged between 92-94 m.p.h.

"I think maybe he's got tiger blood," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen quipped. "Not Tiger Woods. Tiger blood."

Peavy reached back a couple of times, one of which was on the 92 m.p.h. fastball that struck out Vernon Wells to start the second inning.

"I wasn't airing it out," he said, noting that he's "slowly tried to climb" to higher levels this spring and that "by the end of spring training, there will be some grunts in there and we'll see what's in the tank before the regular season starts."

Peavy threw 16 strikes and 10 balls in his 26 pitches. He obtained only three swings-and-misses, but, as he noted, he wasn't airing it out, either.

Meantime, on the other side of the field, the Angels were suitably impressed. Manager Mike Scioscia, acknowledging how far back Peavy has come, said he thought Peavy threw "great."

"We were looking forward to today, and he passed everything," White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "We weren't going to grade him on velocity or even on location. What we were going to grade him on today was, 'How do you feel before, and after?'"

To that degree, Peavy came through his Cactus League debut so clean that the Sox intend to put him on a normal rotation. Assuming he feels OK when he wakes up Saturday morning -- the day after an outing always being a big test -- he'll next start Wednesday, with the goal of him working three innings.

Peavy's biggest test Friday was to keep a lid on his adrenalin and not over-throw to the first big league hitters he's faced in game-conditions in eight months.

The mental hurdles he's facing in battling back from an unprecedented injury?

"Today was one of those," he said. "It was big to get out on the mound and make big league hitters swing and miss and throw fastballs around 90.

"The last time I threw a fastball, to Mike Napoli [last July 6], it wasn't pretty."

Peavy is the only known pitcher to completely tear the lat muscle from the bone. He told me in this column from last month that doctors said Kerry Wood and Tom Gordon each suffered tears in the lat muscle, but those were only 30 or 40 percent tears.

Initially, Peavy was projected for a June return this year. But his rehabilitation has gone so well, and he's so far ahead of schedule, that he believes he can be in the opening day rotation. Guillen is beginning to think that way, too -- even though the Sox still intend to be very cautious.

"In our mind, he's in as the fifth starter," Guillen said. "And we've got a Plan B."

But if Peavy is healthy enough to open as the fifth starter, and even work five or six innings his first few times out, it would be one more significant boost to a White Sox team that believes it has the ammunition to win the AL Central this summer.  

Comments

Since: Jul 13, 2010
Posted on: March 5, 2011 2:54 pm
 

Peavy passes first big test of the spring

AES how can you say that this isnt a good move?? all the trainers and even peavy are saying how good he looks and how good he feels. honestly they need him back so they dont have another beginning of the year like last year. cause when peavy is healthy he isnt a 5th starter. at the least he is a great 2nd starter. but if he pitches like he really can he will bethe best pitcher in the rotation. now that peavy looks healthy i dont see a team in the central that has all talent throughout the WHOLE team like the sox do. Yeah the twins have a great lineup but their rotation sucks. especially if its true that they are trying to get rid of liriano. the tigers have a good lineup and an OK rotation. they do have a very good 1 and 2 starters but behind that its questions marks. then there is the sox. the sox have a very ery good lineup with the addition of dunn. and now with peavy back they should have one of the best rotations 1-5 in the league. IMO the white sox are gonna go wire to wire in winning this division this yera. JUST MY OPINION THOUGH.

Good luck...



Since: Jul 31, 2008
Posted on: March 4, 2011 7:43 pm
 

Peavy passes first big test of the spring

There has been a tennis player and another MLB baseball player (not a pitcher) with the injury.  The were ok.  It was a test and he passed.  Sox and medical team are not stupid.  Every specialist commented that the test was needed, he worked hard at rehab, and structurally is ok.  No reason not to test.  In addition, so many doctors are commented on the positive results.  If they were worried, they wouldn't be commenting as freely or positively as they have.   Otherwise, if something bad happens, they would look like fools, not the White Sox.  He need to strengthen the arm which is why he had a 40 pitch limit.  It doesn't matter if he waited to May or June.  He would have to do the same thing, streghthen the arm.  Peavy is there fifth starter so he can take a break when needed.  The team planned to skip a couple starts in April and May.  Sox fans should have nothing to complain about this year as their lineup and field positions are just about set.  Morel should win at third with Teahan the upgraded Kotsay left bench bat/utility guy.  4th outfielder is a ?.  Notice Ozzie and Kenny are talking this spring.  They are really confident unlike previous years.  Should be a scary good team in the central.



Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2011 4:54 pm
 

Peavy passes first big test of the spring

You know those episodes of "Looney Tunes" where one of the toons has his eyelids / tongue rolled up like the shade on a window? That's what happened to Peavey's dorsi muscle. There was not a tear; the muscle came right off the bone. That's happened exactly zero times to a pitcher  - or any player - in the history of major league baseball. I've never heard of it in any other sport, either. The White Sox said all the right things about not letting Peavey get back to work too soon. Honestly, no one in Chicago thought he would be back until May or June. Now he's making a meaningless start in the first week of spring training games? Wow. Peavey (rightfully) thinks he has not earned the money the Sox have already paid him because he's missed so much time. Well, now is not the time to make ammends. Since the Sox are clearly too stupid to think of the big picture, Peavey will have to do it himself and not make another start until he knows.


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