KANSAS CITY – Jake Peavy spoke highly of Tyler Flowers before the catcher came up from AAA on July 10 after Ramon Castro broke his right hand and index finger. The two were batterymates during Peavy’s minor-league rehab starts, and Peavy liked what he saw.
Flowers will make his first start tonight, with Peavy on the mound, in Kansas City.
“I think Flowers knows Peavy better than A.J.,” Sox manager Ozzie Guillen cracked, a reference to all of Peavy’s work in Charlotte while working his way back to health.
“I’m not worried about making an impression,” said Flowers, who will give A.J. Pierzynski a rest against left-hander Danny Duffy. “They’ve seen me for a while now, in the spring and a couple Septembers. The main goal is to help the team win. Help Jake Peavy have a good outing [tonight] and the White Sox win the game. That will say more than Tyler going 4-for-4 and doesn’t catch well and Peavy gives up eight runs. That’s not going to get it done.”
Flowers, 25, came to the Sox with Brent Lillibridge and two others in the trade for Javier Vazquez in 2008. The Sox’ re-signing of Pierzynski last off-season delayed his arrival to the majors, but more seasoning at AAA Charlotte hasn’t hurt him.
Flowers was batting .261 with 15 homers and 32 RBI and ranked third in the International League in on-base percentage (.390). He was batting .354 with eight homers in his last 15 games. Catching Peavy, with whom he’s familiar, is a good way to break in this season.
“Granted it’s AAA but he’s had good outings down there when I catch him,” Flowers said. “We seem to be on the same page for the most part. It’s been a lot of fun down there. I know he said that to me and I said the same thing . I’m looking forward to [tonight].”
Pierzynski and Peavy exchanged heated words during the Sox’ 4-3 win against the Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field on June 22, then quickly patched things up. Peavy is eager to see Flowers in action, but only because of what he saw in Flowers at AAA, he said.
“I was very impressed with the work Tyler has put in … Tyler is a big leaguer. He belongs here, he just hasn’t had the opportunity. He and I will probably gameplan and I look forward to executing it [tonight]. He receives outstanding and throws the ball real well.”