By Rock Mamola–

Forgive me for being pessimistic, but I am finding it hard to be optimistic about White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy.  While the first two spring outings have gone well for the ace who dawns the #44, how can we really know if he is indeed ready to go on opening day?  Maybe I skipped the Lat Muscle chapter in MLB’s book entitled “How To Overcome Sports Injuries.”

Or maybe not.

What Jake Peavy is recovering from is something we know nothing about when it comes to a Major League Baseball player.  Jake Peavy is his own guinea pig, in fact he’s even stated that himself.  While Jake Peavy is attempting to defy the odds and come back from a torn Lat muscle in less than eight months, how can anyone truly say he is ahead of schedule?

Especially when there is no schedule to follow for a pitcher who had the same injury Peavy suffered.

While we can debate who is at fault for the development of the injury over time, the fact is that no one can truly say they are 100% sure they believe that Jake Peavy is 100% ready to pitch.  While I understand that the White Sox are on the hook for Peavy’s salary for the next two seasons with a club option in 2014, there is still no reason to rush Peavy into this White Sox rotation.  Especially when the White Sox have bolstered their rotation with the addition of Edwin Jackson (traded for last season).

Simply put, I can not say I am comfortable in saying I’m witnessing a minor miracle.  How can we truly believe that Jake Peavy will be the Jake Peavy of old?  Peavy has had to re-invent himself as a pitcher with his mechanics because he can no longer use the ones he previously used.  Peavy always has and always will have a violent delivery, and any adjustment to that will surely affect his velocity/movement on his pitches.

So 5 2/3 innings of spring ball is all it takes for people to believe he is right on track?  Pitching coach Don Cooper mentioned with Mully And Hanley:

“[He’s] throwing the ball well, probably throwing the ball as well now as he did last spring training.”

Statistically from spring to spring Cooper is correct, but saying that over 5 2/3 innings is the concern.  His velocity is a little under what he normally threw, but no change ups.  He has been impressive, but for me it is a little too much too quick to believe in yet.

Want to know when I will start to believe in the Jake Peavy Surgery (as Steve Rosenbloom puts it)?  When I see 10-12 straight starts of around 100 pitches each with the somewhat better command than he had starting last season.  That is when I will start to come around on Jake Peavy.

Right now however the amount of unknowns makes it impossible to do that in early March.


Rock Mamola is the Host of The Rock Report every Friday night at 10pm (cst) on 670 The Score

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