DETROIT — Try as he might, Jake Peavy isn’t what he used to be. Surgery to reattach a torn lat will take something ot on a pitcher, and the White Sox right-hander is coming to grips with the reality that he won’t be at full strength this season.
Next season might be another story, after the 12-18 month full recovery process kicks in. For now, Peavy will throw his fastball a few mph slower than he’s accustomed to.
“The last few starts was a grind physically, said Peavy, who was moved off his scheduled Sunday start to Tuesday in Kansas City. “I don’t think that was any secret if you watched. I’m looking forward to getting pushed back and getting back on my feet.”
The Sox beat the Tigers 8-2 on Friday night. Before the game, Peavy admitted that his relief outing against the Nationals on June 25 took something out of him. He said he was going on adrenaline and passed up the opportunity for an extra day of rest after that 55-pitch effort on his side day. His ERA is 7.72 ERA since then.
“I may have been riding a little high after the relief effort and wanted to pitch a couple more times,” Peavy said. “I thought my body and arm would respond better than it did.”
Peavy said his arm was “about 70 percent maybe” in his last few starts.
“When you’re arm’s like that, not only your fastball but breaking stuff isn’t sharp, they roll, nothing’s effective,” he said. “When you’re trying to piece things together–as a reliever, you can piece together an inning or two–when you start and you go through a lineup 3-4 times, you can’t do it without some good fortune, when you had the stuff I had. It was totally my call and I was excited to do it, but I need to understand my body was taxed. Won us a couple of games, but lost us a couple after that. We all got together and made a good decision in pushing me back and trying to get me back to where I was before those last three starts.”
A shortage of arm strength also makes a pitcher less effective command-wise, Peavy said.
“Of course, no doubt about it,” he said, “because you try to mix and match. Do I go less is more and try to push through? It’s a big difference. My body wasn’t responding. On my Day 5 I felt like I was on Day 3. That’s part of the injury process. Twelve to 18 months everybody’s told me, I’m at 12 months now. From 10 months on I was doing things probably that most people thought couldn’t have been done. At times I’ve felt as if I was never hurt. But at times I’ve gotten on a rigorous schedule and tried to do more than I ever have in my career.”
Phil Humber will start Sunday in the series finale against the Tigers. Mark Buehrle, Peavy and John Danks are probables for the Royals series next week, although Danks, coming off the DL, isn’t official.