DETROIT -- Jake Peavy appears to be on pace to pitch at Double-A Birmingham on Sunday.
The White Sox starter pitched four innings in a simulated game on Tuesday and said he took more steps forward in his rehab from a fractured left rib.
Peavy, who threw 79 pitches, is set to throw in the bullpen on Friday in Philadelphia. If all goes well, the right-hander would then join Birmingham for its first-half finale at Huntsville on Sunday.
“It’s good to see progress,” Peavy said. “I definitely felt better with everything than I did in Tampa a few days ago. To throw to hitters and have some decent stuff was encouraging. When I got to the fourth I tried to take the intensity level up as close as I could to game speed and really see if I could execute and make pitches. For the most part I was able to do that and I felt good.”
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Manager Robin Ventura’s impression is that Peavy was able to throw without pain. Prior to Tuesday’s effort, Peavy had thrown a pair of bullpen sessions. He hopes to pitch at Philadelphia on Sunday in lieu of a rehab start but Ventura continues to downplay the possibility. Ventura and the White Sox like the idea of Peavy taking his time to recover.
“When you’re watching him throw, it was pretty free and easy,” Ventura said. “That’s the good stuff that you like to see coming from him. There was no wincing or the extra stretching guys will do when they’re coming back. ... You have that extra time with that extra four days after the All-Star break.”
Peavy has confidence he could perform well enough at the major league level. But he also said he understands if the organization asks him to pump the brakes and pitch a game for Birmingham. He’s just pleased to be focused on sharpness as he nears the end of the road back.
“Command was better than I thought it would be,” Peavy said. “It was better today, went a little bit harder than I was in Tampa. You would think your command would be a little bit lacking. ... I felt for the most part, threw the ball where I was supposed to and that’s exciting.”
Hahn, Ventura meet
Ventura and general manager Rick Hahn met for 20 to 30 minutes in the manager’s office on Tuesday, fueling speculation that trade talks have heated up. As Hahn’s phone continues to ring, Ventura said the GM has kept him abreast of the latest developments, something he wants to know but at the same time doesn’t.
“There’s two trains of thought,” Ventura said. “One, you want to have that information. On the other hand, you want to play games and want to stay away from that. We just talk and keep in contact of what’s going on. Once the game starts, it’s just trying to win a game.”
-- Reliever Jesse Crain played catch from 40 to 50 feet on Tuesday, the first time he has done so in a week. Crain hadn’t thrown since his right shoulder tightened up on him on June 2. Crain, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain, said the session went about as well as expected.
-- The return of Dewayne Wise (oblique strain) might be nearing as the outfielder started his fourth game for Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday. Wise started his second rehab stint at Charlotte on Saturday and entered play Tuesday with one hit in 12 at-bats.
“I would hope (he’s almost back),” Ventura said. “I haven’t heard anything on any setbacks. You wait to kind of hear something if they’re going well.”