Peavy undeterred by pain, targeting quick return

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Peavy undeterred by pain, targeting quick return

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Posted: 6:49 p.m

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A visibly relieved, though still a scad shellshocked, Jake Peavy chatted with the media in the Chicago White Sox clubhouse on Wednesday, and no offense to anyone, hes tired of meeting this way.

Ill be glad when Peavy Watch is all over, he said. I can promise you that.

As has become customary during his time with the White Sox, Peavy was delivering his latest injury update with frankness, honestly, and more than a little exasperation.

It was good news -- absolutely, it was good news, Peavy said. But its disappointing for me, personally. I felt I wasnt that far away -- I was feeling so good.

By force of circumstance, Peavy has become way too much of an expert on such things as detached muscles, scar tissue and mental strength, so forgive him if he sounds a bit clinical -- bordering on mechanical -- when discussing his circumstances.

To feel something close to what I felt right before I blew it out at the repair site was the disturbing thing, he said. But when everything checks out, its good. Theres very little fluid in there. We think its scar tissue issues that can create discomfort You think youve done something bad and then you take a huge, deep breath when you find out youve just turned some scar tissue over. It was painful, but at the same time Im very encouraged about the prognosis and looking forward to Mondays start being just a minor setback.

With typical frankness, Peavy described the terror he felt when the scar tissue ripping around his lat.

It happened right off the get-go, the very first pitch I threw, he said. I felt, for the first time in this whole process, I felt something going on. It was a pretty strong grabbing sensation at the repair site, where I was surgically put back together. I have not in any way, shape, or form while throwing a baseball ever felt that pain until the other night and it was disturbing to me.

I was hoping maybe it might be scar tissue, and tried to stay out there and throw some pitches. But when something goes wrong its hard to have any kind of command. The best way to say it is when I felt it last year, when my lat started going, right when youre turning loose the ball and it comes out of your fingers, I guess your lat and everything really starts to engage to slow you down. When that grabs you, thats a telling tale that I know its my lat. I can feel exactly where its at because it was the same thing I felt last year.

Just because Peavy has been well-prepped to expect some pain and discomfort doesnt make that pain and discomfort go down any easierespecially as the righthander has been bulldogging his way through the Cactus League and his rehabilitation starts.

The doctors did talk about scar tissues that people have when they come out of surgery, especially when its that big of an attachment like mine, Peavy said. I thought that on Monday but at the same time I gave myself about 15 pitches for it to get better, to work through it, and it was not getting better. It was going the wrong way. I couldnt let the ball go at that point so I just needed to take a step back. Its a hard thing to do, to walk off a mound, especially when you feel like youre so close to pitching in the big leagues. It will just be a few weeks longer, as frustrating as that can be.

When you have the major surgery that I had, the one thing I keep going back is the doctors saying, Jake when you have a major tendon repair it takes about a year. The doctor confirmed it yesterday: Im not guessing it takes a year, its proven that over years from ACLs to ulnar collateral ligaments its about a years process, 12-18 months for things to settle down and be as good as youre going to get. He goes Youre a few months shy of that right nowwere 10 months into this thing. Hes telling me to calm down, because Ive been pushing the envelope and think Im going to make some miraculous recovery.

However, in the category of miraculous recovery, Peavy is still well in line to beat even the most optimistic doctors estimates for his return to the majors. While the hurler still has an off-day on Thursday to recover, he plans to pick a ball back up for some light tossing in Detroit on Friday and is fully focused on missing just one start and not one day longer.

I would think so, he said. I really wont know that until I start playing catch and make sure everything has kind of subsided and gone away. I certainly hope a start next Thursday is the case.

Admittedly crushed to have missed his chance to open the next White Sox homestand April 29, Peavy is taking his setback in stride.

I dont know any other way to do it than to keep my head up and keep plugging away, he said. Before long, I think things will turn around and Ill be out there doing what I can do.

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

Lucas Giolito striving to contribute to White Sox 'as soon as possible'

Lucas Giolito striving to contribute to White Sox 'as soon as possible'

At one point, it was looking like Lucas Giolito could be headed to the White Sox in exchange for Chris Sale.

But when Sale was dealt to the Boston Red Sox, Giolito's name was in the clear of rumors — until 29 hours later, when the Nationals' top prospect would be headed to Chicago in a different trade, which sent outfielder Adam Eaton to Washington.

“It’s kind of like the world we live in now. Social media is always out there and everything is on Twitter,” Giolito said in a conference call Friday. “I saw my name being mentioned on Twitter for Chris Sale. I know with the winter meetings all sorts of stuff being thrown around. I was just trying to focus on what I’m doing in this offseason which is lifting and all my workouts. Kind of just whatever happens, happens. 

“It’s funny that Sale ended up going to the Red Sox and something else happens that I’m going to the White Sox now with a couple teammates. It’s really interesting stuff but I’m super excited.”

The move for Rick Hahn & Co. to acquire Giolito was the second major trade to begin the White Sox rebuilding process. But Giolito didn't come alone.

In addition, the White Sox received Reynaldo Lopez — who Giolito has played with since 2014 — and the Nationals' 2016 first-round pick Dane Dunning.

"I definitely think it’s amazing to be coming over to the White Sox with a bunch of young talent," Giolito said. "I think it’s a great opportunity for us to all develop and get better and hopefully put a really good team together in Chicago. Definitely excited to be coming over with a couple guys from my previous organization."

[MORE: Rick Hahn, White Sox prepared to make more 'painful decisions' if the price is right]

Giolito went 6-5 with a 2.97 ERA and 1.28 WHIP across three minor-league levels this past season. He admitted his mechanics weren't quite in sync and is looking to improve on that.

"Sometimes things get out of whack. I believe I let too much get out of whack last year," Giolito said. "So this year with my training program I have in this offseason — lifting and Pilates and everything — I’m just trying to make sure that I can stay as athletic as possible so I’m able to repeat the right delivery more often. Once I start playing catch and doing bullpens and everything these next few weeks, right before spring training, I’m going to make sure I put that all together so I can repeat my delivery as best as possible."

His struggles continued when he got to The Show.

In his major-league debut on June 28, Giolito held the New York Mets to just one hit over four scoreless innings before a rain delay cut his night short. That turned out to be his most effective outing of the season as he finished the year with an 0-1 record, 6.75 ERA and 1.78 WHIP in six games with the Nationals, four of them being starts.

"(My MLB debut) didn’t go as well as I would’ve liked it to go, obviously, as you look at the numbers and everything," he said, "but I feel that with the White Sox now (and) getting traded and everything, it’s kind of like a fresh opportunity and a new start to get up to the big leagues again and contribute and do everything I can to stay there as well."

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Despite his low numbers, the 22-year-old Giolito believes he's ready to play on the White Sox main roster as soon as next season.

"I’ve had some experience in the big leagues last year," Giolito said. "Especially last year, I took a lot positives away because I did experience such a good amount of failure in a lot of I’d say like hardship when I made it up and didn’t perform up to what I believe is my best capabilities.

"I’ve pitched a good amount of innings in the minor leagues and I’ve had a little experience in the big leagues so I’m just really looking forward to making it up in the big leagues with the White Sox and contributing as soon as possible."

Rick Hahn, White Sox prepared to make more 'painful decisions' if the price is right

Rick Hahn, White Sox prepared to make more 'painful decisions' if the price is right

That Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada have reunited is a nice story, but it won't dramatically change the mindset of the rebuilding White Sox, who earlier this week demonstrated they aren't messing around.

Abreu said in a statement issued by the White Sox on Friday that he's "very happy" about the prospect of again playing alongside Moncada, who played 12 games with the star slugger in 2012 for Cienfuegos in the Cuban National Series. Moncada, 21, is the centerpiece of a four-player package acquired from the Boston Red Sox for Chris Sale on Tuesday, a toolsy infielder who MLB.com has rated as the No. 1 prospect in baseball.

While the concept of Abreu mentoring Moncada has plenty of merit — the first baseman's work ethic is outstanding, and he's beloved by coaches and teammates — don't think the White Sox would hesitate to trade him if someone paid the right price. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn just spent four days at the Winter Meetings discussing how a team that just traded away its best pitcher and position player remains open to listening to all offers and is prepared to do what is must to get the franchise healthy again. 

"We're extremely open-minded on ways to continue the process that we started," Hahn said earlier this week, adding that the White Sox "have to make some painful decisions."

The White Sox have grown tired of never having all the pieces — or even more than a few — to fill the holes created by injury, poor performance, etc. They want to be flush with young talent and essentially have said anything that isn't nailed down at Guaranteed Rate Field is available with the exceptions of Tim Anderson and Carlos Rodon.

The team wants to cash in on the chips it possesses.

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While they don't have a ton, the few the White Sox have could help expedite a rebuild process as the Sale and Eaton trades have shown. Those deals brought back seven players, including three who played at the big league level last season (Moncada, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez). Some of those players potentially would start 2017 in the big leagues, and that possibility increases the internal value of Abreu and starting pitcher Jose Quintana, who is equally revered among teammates and coaches for his dedication and team-first mentality. 

Having those young players see firsthand what it takes to excel in the majors from veteran teammates is invaluable. Abreu, who arrived in the United States from Cuba in late 2013, addressed that point in his statement about Moncada, who signed with Boston in 2015.

"Moncada is a five-tool player," Abreu said. "He really has everything needed to succeed, and I know that with the proper guidance of veteran players and coaches with experience he can become an All-Star caliber player."

"He is going to make a huge impact in the White Sox organization, and both the fans and the team will be thankful.

"I already spoke with him to welcome him to the team. I told him that I'm going to be there for him for everything that he needs on and off the field."

In a conference call Wednesday, Moncada said he's "thrilled" to once again play with Abreu. Whether they will hasn't yet been determined.

When asked about Moncada's 2017 starting point earlier in the week, Hahn said the 21-year still needs to develop. Moncada appeared in eight big league games last season for Boston and struggled with contact, striking out 12 times in 20 plate appearances. But that promotion came after a meteoric rise through Boston's farm system, an aggressive path that included only 45 games played above High-A. Nothing has been announced, but it appears Moncada will receive an invite to big league camp next spring and be seated near Abreu in the clubhouse. 

Still, Hahn sounds like he intends for Moncada to spend much of 2017 refining his approach in the minors. He also has demonstrated he is willing to dig deep and make more painful moves if it betters the team in the long run, all of which means the White Sox wouldn't hesitate to trade Abreu or Quintana if they get what they want.