ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Chicago White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy said he felt good after tossing his second bullpen session of the week, throwing 53 pitches before Friday's contest against the Tampa Bay Rays.
"Today was exciting for me to get some more work in," said Peavy, who is on the disabled list with a non-displace rib fracture. "It gets frustrating when it’s June, July, and it feels like its spring training. But I think we got better today. We found some key things in the delivery that I need to focus on. We made some progress. Longer, harder session. Hopefully, we can take another big step the next time out."
White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper expects Peavy to toss a simulated game on Tuesday before Chicago's game against Detroit. After throwing straight through with no rest in Friday's session, Cooper plans on having Peavy throw between 10 and 20 pitches and rest before throwing more pitches in Tuesday's simulated contest.
"We'll discuss it more that day, but we have a plan set up and we're flexible in that plan," said Cooper, who anticipates Peavy throwing somewhere around 50 pitches.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said it is too early to tell whether Peavy could make a start on the Major League roster before the All-Star break.
"It's a different game than throwing in a bullpen," Ventura said when asked if a rehabilitation start would follow Tuesday's simulated game.
White Sox vice president and assistant general manager Buddy Bell said the organization would probably err on the side of caution with Peavy.
"My guess if we'll probably wait until after the break," Bell said before Friday's game. "We'd rather be safe than sorry."
Probably the biggest indicator of where Peavy is in terms of returning is Peavy's own confidence about his strength.
"It's certainly not great," said Peavy, who has been out since June 6th. "I think my arm for 10, 15 pitches can be as good as it's ever been, but after that, there's a huge drop off towards the end. That's the biggest thing, to develop arm strength, leg strength too. You have to remember I wasn't able to run or lift any kind of weights for a month. It takes a lot out of you as far as your endurance, your strength that you're able to have throwing seven, eight innings. You need to have that strength."
Cooper expressed excitement about where Peavy is now, though, in relation to where he was two weeks ago.
"I'm actually starting to get excited because it's right around the corner and you can see him making progress," Cooper said. "He looked good. This session was medium to heavy. Got a nice work out. He's throwing all his pitches, all the locations, experiencing no discomfort, no pain. If everything goes smoothly, he's feeling good before, during, and after and the next day, then he's probably not too far from pitching in a Major League game."