Peavy Watch: Tampa Edition

Peavy Watch: Tampa Edition

Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Posted: 6:54 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.The sigh of relief could be heard 1,200 miles south.

Jake Peavy flew up to Chicago on Tuesday, one day removed from leaving his rehabilitation start in Birmingham, Ala. last night after throwing just 15 pitches.

Peavys MRI was completely normal, according to White Sox doctors. The discomfort Peavy felt last nightpain that prompted his removal from a projected 90-pitch startwas mere inflammation of the latissimus dorsi muscle that was surgically reattached last July. That pain is possibly related to, but different from, the shoulder tendinitis that sidelined Peavy during spring training, eventually slowing his rehab enough to keep him in extended spring training once the White Sox broke camp.

The course of action for Peavy is to cease throwing for four days (including today) and adhere to a six-day anti-inflammatories regimen. On Friday, he will resume throwing and prepare for his next rehab start on Thursday, April 28.

"I was kind of worried last night, but with the news we have, I feel better," said manager Ozzie Guillen, who showed real concern for Peavy on Monday but characterized his aborted start as more bad news for the White Sox after Chicagos loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. "But I stay with the same plan. I wish I could say, 'I will have this guy the next day, one week, two weeks, one month,' but Ive got to wait and go through the process and see what happens."

Peavy allowed three runs on four hits vs. Mississippi on Monday, and such an extreme decisionleaving the contest some 75 pitches short of his goal, caused everyone following the hurlers road back from the uncharted territory of latissimus dorsi muscle reattachment to take a deep breath and fear the worst.

But the news is much brighter than that, with Peavy missing his next startscheduled for Saturday for AAA Charlottebut resuming his throwing activity this Friday and aiming for an official return to the mound in just a week and half.

We're hoping Jake comes back and we're anticipating him coming back, but right now we need our starting pitchers to step up and we need our bullpen to be more consistent," pitching coach Don Cooper said before Tuesdays game in St. Petersburg and before Peavys prognosis was known. "We've lost a few games, and the best way to stop a losing streak is for somebody to step up and shut down the other team."

Peavy is expected to fly to Florida and meet up with Cooper and the White Sox staff on Wednesday to map out any tweaks needed to his throwing program. What was initially seen as a most optimistic prognosisPeavys return to the majors being pushed back from May 1 to May 15 or thereaboutsnow appears to be right on target.

But thats not something Guillen is going to lose sleep over.

"Nothing against Jake, but if you're not here, I don't worry about you," he said. "I didn't worry about Carlos Quentin when he was rehabbing, or Mark Teahen. When they say, This guy is ready to go, I'll be more than happy to have him with the club.

Guillens got a pointone he wasnt afraid to hammer home, with a laugh.

The way we're playing, the last guy who is going through my mind is Jake."

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

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As he surveyed the landscape this offseason, Peter Bourjos thought he and the White Sox would make for a good fit.

Adam Eaton had been traded and Austin Jackson departed via free agency, leaving the White Sox with Melky Cabrera and several young players to man a thin outfield. Bourjos, who lived in Chicago until second grade, pursued the White Sox and last month agreed to terms on a minor-league deal in hopes of earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Last season, Bourjos, who was born in Chicago, hit .251/.292/.389 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 383 plate appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I always liked playing in Chicago,” Bourjos said. “It was a good fit and then spring training is here. I have two young kids. So packing them up and going to Florida wasn’t something I wanted to do either.

“We definitely look at all those options on paper. Evaluate what might be the best chance of making a team and this is definitely one of them. It seems like a good fit on paper.”

If he’s healthy enough, Charlie Tilson will get the first crack at the everyday job in center field. Tilson, who missed the final two months of last season with a torn hamstring, is currently sidelined for 10 days with foot problems. Beyond Tilson, the White Sox have prospects Adam Engel and Jacob May with Cabrera slated to start in left field and Avisail Garcia pegged for right. Leury Garcia is also in the mix.

But there still appears to be a good shot for Bourjos to make the club and manager Rick Renteria likes his veteran presence for the young group. Bourjos has accrued six seasons of service time between the Phillies, Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals.

“Bourjy has been around,” Renteria said. “He knows what it takes. He understands the little nuances of major-league camp and how we have so many players and we want to give them all a look. We want to see Bourjos, we want to see him out there.”

Bourjos, who turns 30 in March, has an idea what he wants to do with his chance. A slick defensive outfielder, Bourjos wants to prove he’s a better hitter than his .243/.300/.382 slash line would suggest. He said it’s all about being relaxed.

“Offensively just slow everything down and not try to do too much,” Bourjos said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself and it hasn’t translated. I think last year I got in a spot where I just tried to relax in the batter’s box and let everything go and what happened happened. I had success with that.

“I now realize what that feels like and it doesn’t work. Just take a deep breath and be relaxed in the box and good things are going to happen.”

Gio, Geo and Gio: White Sox spring training has its own version of 'Who's on First?'

Gio, Geo and Gio: White Sox spring training has its own version of 'Who's on First?'

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Giovanni Soto pitched to Geovany Soto at White Sox camp on Monday morning, and the Internet loved it.

The veteran catcher and rookie pitcher, who share similar names and have been friends for two years, worked together during live batting practice. The unrelated pair, who both hail from Puerto Rico, said they’ve been confused for each other several times since reporting to camp last week. Each has also heard the other’s name being called out and thought it was for them, which has led to more confusion. But those mix-ups haven’t limited their enjoyment of the situation, either.

“It’s kind of surreal that he has the same name, last name,” Geovany Soto said. “It’s kind of weird calling him Gio and he’s calling me Geo. It’s kind of weird.

“With the physicals, doctors, the people for the drug testing, we’ve been confused in all three of those. I’m expecting that to happen. Hopefully I can get a big check on his name and cash it.”

The social media world isn’t alone in its enjoyment of the topic as both players smiled while discussing it on Monday.

Giovanni Soto said the players met two seasons ago when he pitched for the Cleveland Indians and the catcher was in his first stint with the White Sox. They grew up about 20 minutes apart from each other in Puerto Rico and now spend time together in the offseason. But what has made the scenario even more confusing is that White Sox prospect Lucas Giolito is seated only a few stalls away from Giovanni Soto in the clubhouse.

“It’s kind of weird, especially in the clubhouse and on the field because when someone says Geo, we turn around to see if it’s for him or for me,” Giovanni Soto said. “And we also have Giolito, and people call him Gio. It’s weird, but it’s funny too.”

Both Sotos could make the team’s Opening Day roster.

Geovany Soto, who signed a minor league contract in January, is the most experienced catcher in camp and is favored to win a job. Giovanni Soto, who was claimed off waivers from the Cubs in November, is one of several relievers competing for a spot and could make the club if the White Sox decide to carry two left-handers in the bullpen. And while Giolito is expected to start the season at Triple-A, he could reach the majors at some point causing more pandemonium.

“There’s a lot of Geo going on with Giolito, Giovanni and then me,” Geovany Soto said. “And can get pretty hectic. But yeah, it’s fun for us.”