By Chris Rongey–

GLENDALE, AZ–Just yesterday, Jake Peavy’s progress continued to be encouraging.  An 83 pitch effort while battling aftereffects of the flu, led us to think that maybe the White Sox right-hander was, in fact, going to be ready to start the season on the 25-man roster.

Now, here we are just a day later and that prognosis isn’t quite so encouraging.

“We were told to expect this. I wouldn’t buy into it, and I never expected it. But we have. I’m not going to sit here and say it’s a setback yet, but certainly things have slowed down,” said Peavy today whose Cactus League start on Thursday against the Cubs is in jeopardy, as is his regular season start on April 6th.  If he doesn’t start Thursday, he doesn’t start the season with the Sox.

Officially, doctors say Peavy has tendinitis in his rotator cuff and will be evaluated over the next couple of days.  Soreness in his shoulder has been gradually increasing and, for the first time today, Peavy failed the tests to determine whether or not the discomfort was due to general soreness or something more serious.

This, he hopes, is the setback that trainers and doctors have told him to expect.  But he never really did expect it.  And many of us — myself included —  were starting to maybe believe that his incredible recovery was going according to plan.  That the expectation now should be that Peavy would make that start in game #5.  Rationally, though, we never should have expected that until we physically saw him standing on the mound in the bottom of the first inning on April 6th in Kansas City.

Optimism can get the best of you, sometimes.

Peavy was noticeably disappointed in the news today and he seemed, more than ever, to be willing to accept that he just can’t push it anymore.  He says that he “(isn’t) going to try to be a hero and pitch hurt,” and said that he knows it’s best for himself and the team if does it right and is able to go in May, instead of overexerting himself and making the situation worse.

What can be done, really?  Aside from wrapping the guy in egg-crate packing foam and storing him away for the rest of his life, there just isn’t any way to guarantee something on his body won’t be inflamed, sprained, broken, or torn.  His lat muscle is good.  This rotator cuff issue is separate and is now causing real pain.

The only thing that we can do now, is hope the inflammation calms and that Peavy can give the White Sox five good months or better.  I do think it’s safe to say, though, that if he holds true to his feelings from today, Peavy won’t come back before he should.  He’s said as much.  Let’s hope that’s the case.