By Chris Rongey
PHOENIX, AZ–Though he admits he doesn’t “think it’s etched in stone,” Jake Peavy said today after his start against the A’s that, at this point, he appears to be in line to get the start April 6th in Kansas City.
“I think that’s the way we’re headed,” said Peavy after throwing 5 2/3 of 7 hit ball while allowing 3 earned runs in the White Sox 8-3 loss. The scoring included a two-run home run off the bat of former Sox prospect Ryan Sweeney.
After dealing with the flu for the last several days, Peavy was determined to stay on track to be able to begin the season with the Sox, even if that meant doing so at less than 100%.
“I didn’t feel up to par, by any means, yesterday or today…but I feel like we could go out and get our work in. I just want to stay on schedule. Schedule is such a huge part of spring training,” said Peavy who threw 83 pitches. That’s 16 pitches more than his last time out.
It appears some team decision-makers were more inclined to have Peavy throw a simulated game so they could have more control over the environment, while Peavy preferred the real thing. “It’s just not the same. These guys are going out there and trying to get hits. I felt blessed that I was able to go. I had some people on my side about pitching, I had some people that weren’t on my side. But, eventually, we got out there and got our work in and it was a good day. ”
While Peavy felt strongly that he needed to make his scheduled start, it’s encouraging to continue to hear that he’s aware of his limits. “Obviously I didn’t feel very strong and went at a very controlled pace,” he said.
Undoubtedly, the number one concern in regard to the Sox right-hander is the possibility of re-injury. The recent illness, however, has nothing to do with that and the desire to pitch through the flu is not nearly as worrisome as the desire to pitch through soreness.
Puking aside, I still can’t help but to feel a bit queasy about Peavy’s progress. OK, that’s a bit dramatic because I know whatever happens with him in the next several weeks will not literally cause me to throw up, but I am certainly nervous about the prospect of Peavy starting the season on the 25-man.
When much of the speculation was that we may not see him pitch until the middle of the season (with some even boldly predicting he may never pitch again), it’s difficult to wrap my head around the idea that he’s highly likely be ready to go in week one. It’s incredible, really.
The worrying may all be for naught. Humans like to be worried. Makes us feel alive, or something.
On the other side of worry and hyperbolic words like “catastrophe”, is the possibility that we might get a full season of a healthy Jake Peavy. And in our Giant Bag of If’s, if Peavy does that, this Sox team might be really, really good.
Somewhere in the middle, is an 80% of a season with a healthy Jake Peavy. And if caution helps him get there, I’ll take that, too.