SEATTLE – White Sox starting pitchers haven’t been the issue during the team's slow start, so Jake Peavy knows he is going to have to bring more than solid outings when he makes his expected return next week.
Peavy is lined up to rejoin the rotation Wednesday against the Angels in Anaheim, Calif., and when he does he plans on bringing an edge about him.
“I do want to bring some enthusiasm, some fire, some passion,” Peavy said Saturday. “I certainly think the ballclub could use a shot in the arm. I not promising anything, by any means, but I can promise you this: We’re going to compete on that day. Not to say that we haven’t been—but there’s going to be more energy than we’ve had and go out there and try to turn things around, because we’ve dug ourselves a pretty nice hole here.”
Fire and passion also means ramped up intensity, which is a sore subject in some circles because of the belief that Peavy’s intensy drive is what got him into his current injury mess. Peavy pitched through shoulder issues last season and blew out his latissimus dorsi muscle. Then he got ahead of schedule during his rehab earlier this year and had two separate setbacks.
Peavy is well aware of the perception that he was too aggressive on his road to recovery.
“It was tough for me to hear, ‘Are you going to be honest with the guys this time, and tell them how you feel?’” Peavy said. “ I’ve been honest my whole time in Chicago. I’m a competitor—I’m gonna pitch if I feel I can pitch. If I’m under doctors order not to, I won’t.
“I’ve been honest with everybody, and we all think at this point in time as healthy as I can be and as strong as I can be out of surgery and we don’t think we’re putting anything at risk. So I look forward to getting the ball and create some positive energy.”
His two setbacks – one because of rotator cuff tendinitis and the other because of discomfort from scar tissue – might have been a blessing in disguise.
“I felt quite a bit better now than in spring training, even as close as we got there [to returning],” Peavy said. “I’m certainly glad we had those setbacks because I’m a couple months down the road and I feel stronger. I feel more in control. I hope that will continue to grow the more months I get out of surgery. We’ve always talked, they said 12-18 months and I’m just 10 months out of surgery and I’m close to ready to start in the big leagues. I’m excited about that, but there’s still room to grow.”