SCOTTSDALE—The White Sox were expecting an ace when they acquired Jake Peavy from the Padres at the trading deadline in 2009. Instead, at least to this point, they have gotten something much less as the right-hander managed only 20 starts and 3.2 WARP because of injuries.
However, if Peavy continues to pitch like he has in his first two spring training outings, the White Sox might have a bona fide No. 1 starter to front a potentially strong rotation that includes left-handers Mark Buehrle and John Danks and righties Edwin Jackson and Gavin Floyd. And that might just give the White Sox the edge over the Twins and Tigers in what figures to be a tight American League Central race.
All is going well in Peavy's recovery from season-ending surgery last July 14 to repair a detached latissimus dorsi mucle in the back of his right shoulder. While the White Sox are projective Peavy to return in late April, he believes he will be ready to begin the season in the rotation.
"I've tried to be very proactive to do everything I can to make sure I come back strong," Peavy said. "I've done every exercise. I've iced my shoulder every time I'm supposed to. I'm very confident I'm on track to start the season on time."
Peavy made his second start of the spring Wednesday and allowed only one run and one hits in 3 2/3 innings in a 4-2 loss to the Giants in a Cactus League game at Scottsdale Stadium. Peavy walked one, struck out one and gave up a home run to Aubrey Huff that he said came on a cutter outside the strike zone. The Giants played what figures to be their Opening Day lineup.
"That was a really good lineup I was facing and I had to work to get outs, which is a good thing at this time of the spring," Peavy said. "I was pleased with the results. Even the home run came off a good pitch. Aubrey Huff went out and got it."
Peavy, who won the 2007 National League Cy Young Award with the Padres, was also encouraged that he was able to bounce back physically after making his first start of the spring five days earlier. He held the Angels scoreless for two innings in that game.
"I have to get into the routine of pitching every five days and we needed to put in a lot of work to get me ready to pitch again," Peavy said. "I didn't feel as good as I did the other day, although some of that probably has to do with having more emotion in my first start because it had been so long since I pitched. All in all, it was a good day. I felt good, got my work in and continued to climb."