Peavy picks up where he left off in spring debut

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Peavy picks up where he left off in spring debut

Friday, March 4, 2011
Posted: 2:43 p.m. Updated: 6:29 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jake Peavy breezed through his first appearance of spring training, throwing a scoreless and hitless two innings.

Im relieved, pleased, Peavy said. Its a big step to get out there in a game. I did what I expected to do and hoped what I would be able to do, turn it up a level get some big league hitters out, and feel normal in doing that. I accomplished that today, and hope Ive put a lot of questions and issues to rest.

Peavy struck out Los Angeles Angels leadoff hitter Maicer Izturis on four pitches, then worked Bobby Abreu to a full count before walking him. With a 1-0 count on Torii Hunter, Peavy coaxed a 4-6-3 double play from the Angels right fielder.

In the second, Peavy punched out cleanup hitter Vernon Wells on four pitches, then completed the minimum six batters by getting Howie Kendrick to fly out to center on an 0-2 count and Erick Aybar on a 3-2 drive to left.

I put something on that pitch to Wells. I wasnt airing it out, but was putting something on the ball and trying to take it up a notch, Peavy said. The last few pens, my velocity has been slowly climbing. Ill see what I have in the tank and the end of spring training.

In all, Peavy threw just 26 pitches, allowing one walk and striking out two. From the start, he looked comfortable and smooth in striding to the mound for the first time since July 6, 2010.

I didnt throw any changeups, Peavy said. I threw some cutters and breaking balls, and obviously fastballs. Didnt really air anything out but certainly tried to put something on the ball to make it challenging for big league hitters. I missed a few barrels and balls got away from me a little bit with Abreu and Aybar. But other than that, it went pretty smoothly.

After the second inning, Peavy was given a standing ovation by White Sox players and coaches, as well as fans behind the third-base dugout, as he exited the game. Manager Ozzie Guillen and bench coach Joey Cora then orchestrated a standing ovation for the clubs incomparable trainer, Herm Schneider, who was in the dugout walkway, cautiously watching Peavys first start in eight months.

I havent been in Chicago healthy and able to do what I wanted to do, said the relieved starter. I feel very blessed that Im going to get that opportunity in the near future, and on a great team as well.

The hitless, scoreless innings stretched the streak by White Sox starters to 10 straight innings.

Today was one of those mental hurdles, he said. Today was a big moment, to get out on the mound and throw breaking balls and make big-league hitters swing and miss, to throw some fastballs around 90 mph.

The last time I stood on the mound and let a ball go to Mike Napoli, it wasnt pretty and wasnt a pretty feeling Today, I felt like I was healthy. I think I showed that today.
From here

Peavy realized that his great outing and high spirits doesnt mean its smooth sailing from here on.

Tomorrow is a big day in seeing how I feel, Peavy said. Hopefully, theres nothing abnormal. Ill just move right ahead with a bullpen session and start focusing on the next spring training start, and head toward April.

Peavy is scheduled to make his next start on March 9 at the defending champion San Francisco Giants.

Wednesday is the game plan, Peavy said. Everything is renegotiable at this point, but since you guys have been covering the story, Ive been on track. Ive been very fortunate and blessed not to have any setbacks, and I hope that continues. At the same time, if theres anything abnormal, we are likely to back off instead of pushing through because of what has happened since coming to the White Sox.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia will both return to the White Sox in 2017.

The team announced it reached deals with both players shortly before Friday’s 7 p.m. CST nontender deadline. Lawrie will earn $3.5 million next season and Garcia received a one-year deal for $3 million.

The club didn’t tender a contract to right-handed pitcher Blake Smith, which leaves its 40-man roster at 38.

Acquired last December for a pair of minor leaguers, Lawrie hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 36 RBIs in 94 games before he suffered a season-ending injury.

Lawrie produced 0.9 f-WAR when he suffered what then-manager Robin Ventura described a “tricky” injury on July 21. Despite numerous tests and a lengthy rehab, Lawrie never returned to the field and was frustrated by the experience. Last month, Lawrie tweeted that he believes the cause of his injury was wearing orthotics for the first time in his career.

He was projected to earn $5.1 million, according to MLBTraderumors.com and earned $4.125 million in 2016.

Garcia hit .245/.307/.385 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 453 plate appearances over 120 games. The projected salary for Garcia, arb-eligible for the first time, was $3.4 million.

The team also offered contracts to Miguel Gonzalez and Todd Frazier, who are eligible for free agency in 2018, first baseman Jose Abreu and relievers Dan Jennings, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka, among others.

The White Sox have until mid-January to reach an agreement with their arbitration-eligible players. If they haven’t, both sides submit figures for arbitration cases, which are then heard throughout February.

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

Crain's Chicago Business released its latest 40 under 40 project and White Sox announcer Jason Benetti made this year's list.

The 33-year-old just finished his first season with the White Sox as play-by-play announcer, working the home games at U.S. Cellular Field (before it was renamed Guaranteed Rate Field last month) alongside Steve Stone as longtime broadcaster Hawk Harrelson saw his workload reduced to mostly road games.

Benetti quickly became a fan favorite among Chicagoans on CSN and other networks in 2016 and his cerebral palsy became more of a backstory, with his work alongside Stone and his affable sense of humor taking center stage instead.

Among other topics, Benetti discussed how he approaches his job of broadcasting for the team he grew up rooting for:

Law school taught me that there are always two sides of the argument. I see it from the Sox prism, but I can’t believe in my heart of hearts that, if the Sox lose, the world’s over anymore. That first game, I was like, “All right, it’s just a game.” And then Avi Garcia hits a homer late in the game against the Indians and I call it like I would call it with a little more. And as the ball cleared the fence, when it was rolling around, I got a slight tear in my eye. And I was like, “What’s that?”

Check out the entire interview with Benetti and the full list at ChicagoBusiness.com.