Peavy not ready; won't guess on return

Originally Published: August 19, 2009
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago

Chicago White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy said Wednesday he won't try to guess when he'll be ready to pitch again in the major leagues.

Peavy
Peavy

"I don't think that's smart," said Peavy, who injured a tendon in his right ankle and has been on the DL since June 9. "The time when I go out and I'm able to get six, seven innings under my belt, feeling good, knowing that I'm able to execute a pitch in the seventh as well as I can do it in the first, and throw the ball where I want to at 100 percent, I think when I see that day, we're gonna go from there.

"Putting a specific date just seems to put too much pressure [on everybody]. You want to be ready. I want to be ready tomorrow, but truth is, I'm not gonna be. Am I gonna be ready five days from now, ten days from now? Who knows?"

White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said Peavy will throw at least two more minor league rehab starts before being ready to pitch in the major leagues.

General manager Ken Williams said Peavy won't start on Sept. 3 in a make-up game with the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field because Williams doesn't want Peavy risking injury by batting and possibly running the bases. Therefore, the most likely scenario -- if Peavy continues his rehab without incident -- is Peavy pitching against the Boston Red Sox during the series at U.S. Cellular Field between Sept. 4-7.

In his second rehab start on Tuesday, Peavy struggled, yielding three earned runs on five hits, hitting a batter and giving up a home run in four innings for the Triple-A Charlotte Knights. He also struck out five, but it wasn't as strong a performance as his first outing.

Peavy said it's been frustrating not being able to help his teammates.

"That's been the hardest thing, to be smart about it," Peavy said. "Obviously, I'm coming off an ankle injury that's serious, that didn't allow me to do anything, no running, the lifting weights, no throwing for two months. The only time you ever do that is in the offseason.

"And when you come off that, you throw for an extended period of time, then you get to spring training where you're strong. So obviously, this is unchartered territory for anybody. Nobody just comes off from not doing anything and then tries to jump back on the mound and pitch. So, I've got to be smart about it, but I certainly want to be out there as soon as I can.

"I want to take the mound here in the big leagues," he continued, "and know that I'm ready to go out and throw seven, eight, nine shutout innings. When I'm able to do that, and feel like I'm able to do that, whether I do or not, then I'll [know I'm ready]."

ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell contributed information to this report.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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