Jake Peavy will be on display in his return
BY TONI GINNETTI email@example.com July 20, 2013 12:20AM
Jake Peavy, who last pitched for the Sox on June 4, will start Saturday. He won’t be on a pitch count. | Sun-Times library
BRAVES AT SOX
The facts: 3:05 p.m., Fox-32, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The starters: Paul Maholm (9-8, 3.98 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy (6-4, 4.30).
Updated: August 21, 2013 6:18AM
Business as usual for right-hander Jake Peavy on Saturday will be about getting on the mound again for the White Sox.
But business as usual this time of the season is about the scouts who will be in the U.S. Cellular Field stands watching Peavy.
Peavy will make his first start for the Sox since June 4. The scouts will want to see if Peavy is healthy enough to trade for after missing more than a month with a rib injury.
Teams already know the 2007 Cy Young Award winner isn’t the overpowering pitcher he once was, but he has overcome worse injuries, including the career-threatening tear of the latissimus dorsi muscle in 2010.
Peavy had no-trade rights with the San Diego Padres. He ultimately approved the move to the Sox on July 31, 2009.
But it’s different now for the 32-year-old veteran who signed a two-year, $29 million deal with the Sox before the season — but with no veto rights over a trade.
‘‘In San Diego, it was a unique situation I was in with the changing of ownership and me having a full no-trade and just getting into my contract,’’ Peavy said Friday before the Sox fell 6-4 to the Atlanta Braves to start the second half.
‘‘We talked about [a trade] and figured out what was best for everybody. We addressed it early in the season [in 2009] when we declined coming here [in an initial trade overture], and then when it started to be well-known when I would have to be moved, we talked about it. I think that situation was special.
‘‘I’ve never been in a situation like this. I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know what the communication lines are, and it doesn’t bother me that I don’t know.’’
Scouts have been watching the Sox for the last several weeks.
Peavy is the most coveted player because he’s a starting pitcher and is under contract next year.
Teams also are interested in relievers Jesse Crain — whose status on the disabled list makes him an ‘‘iffy’’ option — and Matt Lindstrom, who pitched in the ninth when the Braves added to their lead.
Peavy likely will have to pitch beyond Saturday to prove himself healthy in order for the Sox to get a premium return.
He won’t be on a pitch count, manager Robin Ventura said.
‘‘He’s pretty good at letting you know how he’s doing,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘As long as his rib is doing fine, he can stay in there.’’
How much longer he stays on the South Side is another matter.
‘‘I haven’t heard any trade talk, to be honest with you,’’ Peavy said. ‘‘I did monitor trade talk in the past. I had some say in it. I have zero say in it [now], so I’m not going to worry about it because it won’t do me any good to speculate. I’m excited to be here right now. We’ll see whatever happens over the next couple of weeks.
‘‘There’s nowhere I’d rather play than in Chicago. I thought we made that very clear this winter, electing not even to be a free agent to re-sign here.
‘‘I do want to win. That’s the only interest I have in playing this game — to find a way to be a champion. Do I think it can happen here? Absolutely. This year we put ourselves in quite a bind. That has to be [general manager] Rick [Hahn’s] decision whether I’m a part of it going forward or going to help bring a player in a trade. We’ll see.’’