Pain free Peavy continues to make progress

CHICAGO -- Just because Jake Peavy is feeling much better these days doesn’t mean he will avoid making at least two more minor-league rehab starts.

Peavy threw a 32-pitch bullpen session at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday afternoon, three days after throwing 72 pitches in a rehab start for Double-A Birmingham. The right-hander is rehabbing from surgery to reattach his latissimus dorsi muscle, followed by rotator cuff tendinitis that developed this spring.

“I can tell you guys I really do feel almost completely normal,” Peavy said Monday when asked if there is pain associated with days he throws. “There is nothing but general soreness. There is no pain, no discomfort areas that should be. I feel the lat has began that healing process and has healed up enough to let me start and like I said, I feel quite a bit better.

“We tried to push the envelope in spring training and make the club. My body shut it down and obviously it spoke for itself. But with a little time off and little bit slower of a climb, with some medication, it certainly responded. I just hope I’m able to continue this during the season.”

Next up is a five-inning, 80-pitch outing for Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday and then another outing for Birmingham on April 18.

“I’ve just got to make sure when I get back here, I’m just a normal guy and can throw six, seven, eight innings with 100-plus pitches,” Peavy said. “Like I said at that point in time, [GM] Kenny [Williams], [pitching coach Don Cooper] and those guys will make that decision.

“Sure I want to play. At the same time, we got guys here doing very well and we’re not on any kind of rush. Phil [Humber] is obviously throwing the ball great as are the other starters. And the boys are swinging the bat and playing good baseball. So there’s no outside pressure by any means. I just got to get healthy, and when I’m healthy, I feel like I can contribute in whichever way they want me to do.”

If Peavy gets through his next two outings with no setbacks, he could end up making his 2011 major-league debut April 23 at Detroit.

“This team is a very good team and I feel I can contribute and help a major-league team,” Peavy said. “I feel if I get back healthy, I’m going to help, the way I’ve helped in the past with other teams. I don’t project anything. I just want to get back and be healthy and be deeper and help and make the team better. At the same time, this is a very good club and we’ve showed that in the first week of the season.”

Cooper hinted at a possible six-man rotation at times with Humber in an effort to give the regular starters an extra day of rest here or there during the season. Peavy certainly has no issue with that kind of plan.

“I think any time you can get any rest in between, it makes sense to and I can’t see that not being beneficial,” Peavy said. “If you look back on numbers with an extra day of rest, I think I’ve always been better. You feel your day is stronger and your day is more recovered to pitch. You certainly have a routine, but my routine is not altered that much going on five days’ rest as opposed to four.”