- Doug Padilla, ESPN Staff Writer
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jake Peavy moved Monday to dispel the notion that he is reckless with his health and pitches through pain with no regard for the future.
Meanwhile, manager Ozzie Guillen projected that Peavy will miss his first three or four starts to begin the regular season.
Peavy chuckled Monday when asked if he was fine with Guillen taking more control over when he pitches. After it was announced Sunday that Peavy was likely dealing with rotator cuff tendinitis, Guillen said, "Believe me, as long as I am the manager of this ballclub, that's the last time he convinces me."
"Ozzie and the staff have had complete control from the start," Peavy said. "That may have gotten blown out of proportion. I didn't beg [to pitch], I didn't ask. I let those guys make that decision."
Peavy said that not only was Guillen on the same page with him when it came to this spring's rehab from latissimus dorsi surgery last summer, but so was pitching coach Don Cooper and trainer Herm Schneider.
"I let those guys make the decision," Peavy said. "Obviously they all knew I wanted to pitch and stay on schedule. They've known that from Day 1. But I certainly didn't -- as it was portrayed in some situations -- beg to get out there or anything like that. I told them I would do whatever they wanted me to do as a staff."
Guillen said Monday, though, that he wasn't completely aware of the degree of soreness Peavy was dealing with during his outings this spring.
"And I just read in the paper today he's been feeling like that since [March 4 against the Angels]," Guillen said. "Well you say you feel good then you say in the paper 'I was feeling that since Anaheim?' Well, I have to take responsibility because I'm the one that pencils in every player. It's not fair for him to pitch the way he was pitching because he could get hurt for good."
Guillen also took time to clarify that he isn't mad at Peavy despite what his comments looked like to others. For future reference Guillen said you will know he is mad because, "When I'm pissed off I curse." His cursing has been kept to a minimum over the two days.
It doesn't mean Guillen isn't concerned over the entire situation.
"I don't have a problem with anybody, it's just protecting Jerry [Reinsdorf's] money, Kenny [Williams'] move and my integrity in the game ... and protecting [Peavy]," Guillen said. "That's the most important thing. I'm protecting him more than anybody in baseball. It's all about him, it's not about us. If this kid gets hurt Jerry's going to pay. If this kid gets hurt ... I want to win, and I think this kid can really, really help us to win this thing. That's the way I look at it."
Peavy reported to the club's spring facility Monday afternoon to go through a couple of hours of work in the trainers' room. He has already met with team doctor Charles Bush-Joseph and is scheduled to meet with Anthony A. Romeo, the doctor that reattached his latissimus dorsi during surgery in July.
He said a strength test on his shoulder and a long toss session later this week would be the key indicators as to whether anti-inflammatory medication was enough to quell his rotator cuff irritation.
"As a competitor, you want to play, you want to pitch," Peavy said. "At the same time, you got to be smart and mindful and make good decisions. I'm certainly going to try to do a better job than I did last year. In no way shape or form did I think I was going to go out and do what I did, obviously, or I wouldn't have pitched.
"They know my desire to pitch and play, and I want to be healthy when I do that. When I do go out and pitch and get on a major league field, I'm going to be healthy. I'm not go out any more like I have for the past two years and piece it together and get through. It's not fair to myself or the team, and I'm certainly not the guy the Sox thought they were trading for. So I want to get healthy and do my thing. But I'm going to be smart."
Plenty has been noted about Peavy's competitive nature, though. It's what helped him to achieve the success he has had in his career. So how does somebody so competitive know when to take a step back?
"Kind of listen to your body," Peavy said. "What I was feeling in the back of my shoulder after that first start, it went the wrong way ... We didn't expect it to go and it kept getting a little worse and now we're taking a more drastic measure to treat it. You've got to listen to your body.''
And he will also be listening to Guillen, although not an angry Guillen.
"Jake does not come from an ingrown toenail," Guillen said. "This kid comes from major surgery in a spot that is a very weird spot. I have to protect him the best I can. ... It will be more than one guy sitting with me. There will be medical reports, Kenny, Jerry, everyone."
Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com.
22hTony Lee, Special to ESPN.com