Daryl Van Schouwen
GLENDALE, Ariz. — General manager Ken Williams was encouraged by medical reports on Jake Peavy Wednesday, so much so that he doesn’t plan to rein in the White Sox’ most expensive pitcher.
“One of the reasons we went out to get Jake Peavy is because he has that attitude,” Williams said. “When you say ‘bulldog,’ that’s who you are talking about.”
Peavy will continue to take anti-inflammatory medication for tendinitis in his right rotator cuff and plans to pitch on the side Saturday or Sunday.
“He is going to exhuaust himself to get back out there,” said Williams, who was encouraged by an examination from Anthony Romero, the surgeon who reattached Peavy’s torn lat in July. “We’re not surprised where we are right now. And I continue to be surprised that we have the opportunity to get him out there a lot sooner than we wanted.”
Peavy, who will miss his scheduled start today against the Cubs, was told the shoulder and lat are structurally sound. He hasn’t been ruled out from the Opening Day roster, but that seems unlikely after what he calls a “blip” on his progress.
“We were told to expect it. I just was trying to not let that happen,” Peavy said. “It happened so we’re trying to move forward as quickly but as logically as we can.”
Here are Williams’ full comments from Wednesday’s meeting with reporters:
“Encouraging news. What this is basically a guy who has worked his tail off to get back to where he can start the season with us. Obviously, that’s in jeopardy right now. To a large degree, we’re going to listen to Jake and the doctors structurally have said there is no problem, no worry about the lat being detached again. But as it’s described to me, the lat works as a decelerator. So it helps you stop your arm, once you get to the point of extension, it helps you stop and you gather yourself like that.
“You can anticipate there is going to be a greater stress on the shoulder. This is nothing more than the blip that we all talked about at the beginning of the whole situation.”
Is Opening Day roster out of the question?
“I don’t want to use any absolute terms, simply because this is Jake Peavy, and he has pushed and worked his tail off to get to this point. From what I understand now, the medicine that he is taking, from what I understand is similar to any kind of medicines he would be taking even if he didn’t have the lat issue, is working on him. So it’s the same soreness you generally have during this time of spring training that all the guys have. He’s working through it. But his recovery time, because of the injury, let’s say it’s at seven days instead of four days. Now the more he works through it, it will go down to six days of recovery. It will go down to five days, and then four. Depending upon what kind of plan we put into play, and how long that will be, we can’t shut him down from what I’ve been told, he’s got to work through some things. But whether he will be ready or not is a big question mark.
Any disappointment because we were this close to the start of the regular season?
“Again, it was anticipated. So in that anticipation, I’m still very encouraged that we’re ahead of the curve. We are ahead of where we thought we would be. And I think that needs, …. I’m a little disappointed in the play that it’s gotten because I’ve tried to warn everybody from the outset we were looking at a blip that was going to come at some point in time. So in my mind, we never stopped planning for that.”
“One of the reasons we went out to get Jake Peavy is because he has that attitude. When you say bulldog, that’s who you are talking about. That kind of guy. He is going to exhaust himself to get back out there. And the doctors have done an amazing job through the whole process keeping us informed and in layman’s terms explaining it to us. We’re not surprised where we are right now. And I continue to be surprised that we have the opportunity to get him out there a lot sooner than we wanted. But what we want is to keep a mindset toward the player first, and the club. This is not an Ozzie Guillen decision or a Don Cooper decision. I will take my guidance from the doctors, medical staff and Jake.”
Are you OK with the lines of communication with Jake?
“Yes. Yes. He is very well aware of what his body is feeling and very communicative of what he’s going through. We’re all on the same page.
He’s been taken to task for pushing too hard…
“We’re not taking him to task. Ozzie has said he has reservations about his type of attitude and he may be ignoring some of his health issues. This guy is a solid guy and he knows what it takes to get ready to pitch. He’s growing and coming along. Just going to take a little more time, that’s all.
Might he be the 25th man?
“I think we all take a step back. Let his symptoms subside a little bit. He will probably have a little more medicine in him next couple of days. Let’s see if get him out on side day Saturday or Sunday and we’ll have a better idea.
If you were told sometime back that you could have him healthy by Mat 1 would you have taken that?
“That’s what I had planned for based on all the information we had available to us. Waiting now for all the information to come in. All the medical information and the information he is going to provide to the medical people. Upon examination today his range of motion is good. There is one little spot in the back of his shoulder, one isolated spot, that was responding to medication, which is an indication that it’s not structural, which matches up to the MRI and other exams we had for him. There are no surprises here. No red flags or sirens.”