Tuesday was Jake Peavy’s second rehab assignment with Class AAA Charlotte.
Wednesday afternoon was all about then talking the pitcher down off the ledge after what Peavy felt was a poor outing.
”I’m a long way from where I’m used to being and where I know I can be — and will be,” Peavy told Chris De Luca of the Sun-Times after allowing four runs in four innings. “It’s just that when you try to turn that intensity up and take it to another level, it’s just not there.”
Peavy was back in Chicago for a few days to meet with pitching coach Don Cooper and general manager Ken Williams about the next plan of action in getting him up and running from the injured ankle that cost him more than two months, but the first order of business for the Sox was making sure Peavy was not unnecessarily beating himself up.
The Sox players that already know Peavy let Williams know that the pitcher has a tendency to be hard on himself, and the club wanted to make sure the hurler was not doing that just halfway through his rehab assignment.
As far as the physical part of getting Peavy back on the mound, Cooper all but ruled out any hope that Peavy’s debut would come under the bright lights of Broadway, Aug. 28 in New York.
“We have at least two more [rehab starts] scheduled, Aug. 23 and 28,” Cooper said. “Much of the stuff we are going to be doing is listening to him. Right now, he seems like he’s par for the course. He’s feeling good and trying to turn up the intensity. He doesn’t feel the command and the intensity are meeting. That’s kind of to be expected. That’s what you are trying to get accomplished, to get the intensity and the stuff up.
“We’ve had two trips at it. I don’t care who you are or how good you are at anything you do. You take the amount of time he took off, it’s going to take a little while to get it back.”
As far as Cooper was concerned, when Peavy is ready, he’s ready. Putting him out there before that, even if it means pushing him back to Sept. 3 or Sept. 8, wouldn’t help anyone’s cause.
“I’m not sitting here biting my nails and waiting for him because we are going to do this right,” Cooper continued. “Whether he comes back on the 30th or the 3rd or the 8th, I sit here right now and I’m going to let that unfold.”
Cooper said the Sox could even keep him in Chicago a few extra days this week, and push his rehab schedule back.
The bottom line as far as Cooper was concerned, Freddy Garcia and Jose Contreras would have to hold down the fort until whenever Peavy is ready.
“I always feel confident,” Cooper said of that scenario. “We are going to win until someone proves to me that mathematically we are out of it. We have as good of a chance as anyone else. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and everyone has their flaws. But let’s have at it. We are in a pennant race. We should be happy we are in it and see what we can do, but we have as good of a chance as anyone else.”