ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Have Jake Peavy and Don Cooper been on the same page this season? Not exactly.
Call it “an adjustment period,” as the White Sox pitcher put it on Thursday.
Is there a rift between Peavy and his pitching coach, as some on the outside are starting to assume? Absolutely not. Peavy made sure to put out that fire before the Sox took the field against the Rays.
Cooper was on The Score’s “Mully and Hanley” morning show, and was asked about the “tired arm” that was brought up by Peavy after his loss in Cleveland.
“The bottom line is he didn’t pitch well,” Cooper said. “We need better out of him. We got him for better than this and he hasn’t been providing it for us yet. You know we are waiting patiently. We are working hard and waiting patiently. I think it’s going to come. He’s got a tired arm, well OK, we’ll run it through, we’ll deal with it.”
While it might have sounded Cooper was poopooing what Peavy had claimed after the poor outing against the Tribe, Peavy said in fact that Cooper was dead on – it wasn’t that big of a deal.
“I just made the comment that, yeah, I didn’t have good stuff, I just didn’t,” Peavy explained. “That’s part of it. The hitters let you know. I just didn’t have very good stuff. I wasn’t making excuses, I was just stating the fact that obviously I didn’t feel my best, we’re going to work hard, get the treatment, try to work out, flush some soreness through there, try to get back to where you feel fresh, you feel crisp … the bottom line is I’ve got to go out there and find a way to overcome in that start. That’s what the good guys do, that’s what I’ve done in the past. I wasn’t making an excuse, I’ve got to go out there and on those days, you’re not going to throw a shutout, but I could have very easily kept that game in check for our team to have a chance and I didn’t do that. It’s upsetting to me, but I do think that too much is made of it.”
Peavy admitted that the Sox did approach him about a scenario in which Mark Buehrle starts Sunday, giving Peavy an extra day off on Monday, but he told them no, he wants the Rays start.
“I’m going to start Sunday, they gave me the opportunity to back it up with Buehrle getting thrown out of [Wednesday’s game early on],” Peavy said. “No, that’s part of being a starter. That’s why I take care of my body, to make [all my starts].”
Two weeks ago, Peavy admitted that his mechanics were out of whack since he joined the Sox last season, and since he performed well at the end of 2009, it wasn’t the type of thing that Cooper was able to notice. Now, there’s the “tired arm” talk. Either way, Peavy admitted that he’s still in an adjustment period with not only Cooper, but the entire change to the South Side.
“Yeah, that’s certainly happening with me and my catchers, me and my team, what makes me click, and that’s slowly and surely coming,” Peavy said. “But yeah, I think it would be accurate to say that we’re all getting to know each other.
“As far as a personal standpoint, Coop knows [John] Danks, he knows Gavin [Floyd] and Burls [Mark Buehrle], he’s had them for years. We’re all still getting to know each other, and that’s slowly but surely getting better, and it has. But we were just so far off the mark with what I was doing there for a little while. I mean all the work we did in spring training kind of went out the window, so we’ve really only had about a month or so of them seeing, ‘Hey, this is when ‘Peav’s’ got his good stuff.’ He saw me the other day in Cleveland for the first time since I made that mechanical adjustment with not what I would call plus-stuff, really take over the game, so yeah, it’s been an adjustment period.”