(AP) – A freak injury threatened Jake Peavy’s career. After groundbreaking surgery 10 months ago, countless hours of rehabilitation and a set back due to shoulder tendinitis, Peavy is set to return to the mound in a major league game.
Barring any late setbacks, Peavy will make his season debut Wednesday night when the Chicago White Sox wrap up a three-game series at the Los Angeles Angels.
The hard-throwing right-hander’s 2010 campaign ended July 6, when the lat muscle detached from the back of his pitching shoulder after 1 2-3 innings of Chicago’s 4-1 win over the Angels. While orthopedic surgeons have long been able to virtually rebuild elbows and shoulders, it’s believed that no other major league pitcher has ever undergone a procedure to repair the tendon connecting the lat to the upper arm.
“I’m just excited to have a start date,” Peavy told the White Sox’s official website Tuesday. “I feel as good as I can feel at this moment.”
After dealing with rotator cuff tendinitis and scar tissue during his recovery, Peavy made his final rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday. He threw 71 of his 100 pitches for strikes in seven innings of a 10-5 victory over Toledo.
“It hasn’t been a smooth road. There have been some times where we thought we’d be ready and had some letdowns. Now, we’ve crossed all the T’s and dotted all the I’s,” the 2007 NL Cy Young award winner said.
Count manager Ozzie Guillen among many anxious to see how Peavy performs after a long road back.
“Since last year, he’s been checking doctors and rehab and the bullpens and the minor leagues. He went through everything. I bet you he can’t wait to pitch and stay here and help us every five to seven days,” Guillen said.
In 17 starts last season, Peavy was 7-6 with a 4.63 ERA – his highest since breaking into the major leagues with San Diego in 2002. He tossed a four-hitter in his only career appearance at Angel Stadium, a 3-2 Padres loss in 2006.
Peavy will try to help the White Sox take two of three from the Angels after doing the same last weekend in Seattle to kick off a nine-game West Coast swing.
Chicago cruised to an 8-0 victory Monday, but Los Angeles bounced back Tuesday and won 6-2. Joel Pineiro, who missed the beginning of the season with a sore shoulder, gave up two runs and eight hits in 7 2-3 innings of his third start and home debut, and Alberto Callaspo drove in three runs.
AL West-leading Los Angeles (21-16) improved to 9-9 at home. The Angels haven’t had a winning record in Anaheim since April 21, when they were 4-3 after beating the Red Sox.
“We’re still not full-tilt on the offensive side, but it’s a good sign some guys are getting back in their game,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “Our pitching staff has held up and carried a lion’s share of our wins.”
Rookie Tyler Chatwood (2-1, 4.08 ERA) will get the start for Scioscia on Wednesday. The right-hander didn’t get a decision in his last start, but bounced back from a shaky performance to record the best outing of his brief career.
He allowed one run and two hits Friday over eight innings of the Angels’ 2-1, 11-inning win over Cleveland. Chatwood had given up five first-inning runs at Tampa Bay on May 1 before Los Angeles rallied for a 6-5 win.
Chatwood’s first win in the big leagues came against the White Sox (14-23) on April 16, when he allowed one run and five hits in seven innings en route to a 7-2 victory.
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