Jake Peavy had an up-close look at his former team Tuesday night, and the right-hander liked what he saw.
Specifically, Peavy saw an energy that was lacking at times during 2013's 99-loss season. Whether it's coming from Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton or any of the veterans on the roster, Peavy came away impressed with how the White Sox competed not only on Tuesday, but throughout the season so far.
"It was fun for me to see the turnaround, the energy, the life, the baseball I.Q. and awareness the team's playing with," Peavy said. "It's fun to see them making strides toward the right direction with some of the young, new players they acquired. Things are going in a good direction here."
Peavy heaped praise on general manager Rick Hahn, who began to add energetic pieces for the future when he dealt Peavy to Boston in a three-team trade last July that netted the White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia. Abreu and Eaton followed in the winter, along with third base prospect Matt Davidson. And while it's still too early to tell if the White Sox are ready to contend in 2014, Peavy said there's an awful lot to like about where the team is headed.
"I believe in what Rick will do with this franchise," Peavy said. "... You gotta have some energy guys, period. You gotta have some guys who bring energy to the table and are upbeat, guys who set the table. I think Rick identified that as being a problem a little bit over the past few years and went out and got some guys with some spirit, with some speed, disruptive-type personalities on the field. I think you're seeing it pay off."
In watching film on the White Sox prior to pitching against them this week, Peavy noted that increased energy so he wasn't surprised by it when he took the mound on Tuesday. But something that did catch Peavy off guard -- even if he expected it -- was the absence of Paul Konerko in the lineup.
"It certainly was weird getting ready for a start again the White Sox thinking Paul's not going to be a part of the equation," Peavy said. "He's certainly a weapon on the bench that you always know about. How many guys have 400-home run guys sitting on their bench ready to take a swing to tie the game or get a big base hit? Huge asset for those guys."