Harris: White Sox Pitching Remains The Backbone
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By Adam Harris-
(CBS) The Chicago White Sox will go as far as their pitching staff lets them. This is not a revelation on my part, but still something the staff takes seriously.
“The starting pitchers are going to be a cohesive unit,” former Cy Young winner Jake Peavy said. “We are going to be a band of brothers that are going to stick together, and help each other and lean on each other and learn from each other. We’ve all talked today, and we are going to continue to talk throughout the game.”
Opening day for the White Sox showed the league how important their pitching staff is to them as “ace” Chris Sale went 7 2/3rds, giving up no runs. Matt Thornton and Addison Reed got the remaining four outs needed to finish off the Royals in a 1-0 battle of, what else, but pitching.
“It was fun. It was exciting. It was everything I thought it would be and more,” Chris Sale recollected minutes after Addison Reed secured the win. “I thought I did a good job of collecting myself and not getting too amped up early or late. It turned out to be a pretty good day.”
Veteran starter Jake Peavy will start Wednesday night for game two of the 162-game trek, and is always looking ahead, especially because of his recent health problems.
“I had many, many years like last year, before I showed up in the shape I did in ’09,” Peavy said. “I hope those (injuries) are behind me now, and I do have some mileage and we don’t know what the future holds. I do feel like my stuff is better than it has been at any point in time here. I do hope to fall in behind Chris and be a top of the rotation guy.”
Peavy is happy with the potential of every pitcher on the staff, and we can assume his confidence hasn’t changed since Sale’s dominating performance today.
“I think we have as much talent as any staff as I have ever been on,” Peavy said. “I think we can match that with anybody in the league, one through 12. I love the youth paired with the veteran leadership we have. We have a little bit of everything. I love the righty, lefty balance with three righties in the rotation to start.”
One left-hander not ready to come back is John Danks, who wasn’t able to meet the quickly set return date after surgery last August. He was in the clubhouse today before the game but is planning on completing rehab in Phoenix for extended spring training games. Danks is confident he is on the right track, despite talk that he is still injured.
“I don’t think so. I’ve done all the MRI’s and checkups that I’m supposed to do and no one has said anything to me about still being injured,” Danks said from his locker next to young star Chris Sales’. “I’m still working up from surgery. I’m not even seven months out yet. I was disappointed we didn’t meet the generous timetable for return… We just ran out of time. I don’t anticipate it being too much longer, but we are at the mercy of my shoulder.”
Jake Peavy is anticipating getting Danks back and hopes he can pitch as a top of the rotation guy. Even though Danks is not ready, Peavy remains confident in the staff.
“I love the 12 guys here, and like I said, we love ourselves on paper but at the end of the day we have to go out and prove it to everybody else.”
Peavy faces Royals off-season addition Ervin Santanta Wednesday night.
Follow Adam on Twitter @aharris670.