Take 2: Pain-free Jake Peavy looks good throwing off mound
By Daryl Van Schouwen firstname.lastname@example.org February 23, 2011 9:38PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jake Peavy’s feel-good recovery adventure took another positive turn Wednesday on a back-field pitcher’s mound at Camelback Ranch.
Peavy revved up his high motor slightly while facing live hitters for the second time in three days, leaving catcher Ramon Castro, pitching coach Don Cooper and Peavy himself with nothing but glowing things to say about the pricey right-hander’s condition.
It’s early — Cactus League games start Monday, and Peavy isn’t scheduled to pitch in one until next Thursday — but early signs are pointing in a positive direction.
Pitchers threw two 20-pitch sets. Peavy threw more breaking pitches, about 10 or 12, than he had on Monday and turned up the velocity a tad on his fastball.
“Another step in the right direction,’’ said Peavy, who had surgery in July to reattach a torn lat muscle beneath his throwing shoulder. ‘‘When you throw 40 pitches and almost simulate two innings, take a day off and then come back and do it again and get through that, it’s obviously a good sign. There is some soreness, but I was just in [the trainer’s room] with some other guys talking about their [normal] soreness and trying to get through it as well.’’
Peavy said he threw pain-free. He will take two days, like the others, and throw again Saturday.
‘‘He had better stuff, increased intensity and the ball was going more where the glove was,’’ Cooper said.
“It had a little more zip on it, and it was going where he wanted it to go more often. He was throwing every pitch — fastball, slider, curveball, changeup — for a strike.’’
“It looked like the old Peavy with his breaking-ball stuff,’’ Castro said. “The fastball is not there yet, but he’s going to get there. We have to see in the games.’’
The Sox are in no rush to get Peavy, the team’s highest-paid player at $16 million this season, into the starting rotation by Opening Day. They say they will err on the side of caution and not rush him back.
“It really doesn’t mean a whole lot to me,’’ Peavy said. “I just want to be healthy for the majority part of this season. If I’m healthy this whole season and throw 200 innings with the guys, it’s certainly something I want to do. But if I don’t, I don’t see myself being that far behind.’’
Peavy, who began his career with San Diego, said he had Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley and bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds review his mechanics. Peavy began his career with the Padres before a midseason trade in 2009, and asked them for a review to keep him from getting into any bad habits that might cause another injury.
Pitchers will get an extra day of rest before Saturday and have the option of throwing off the mound or something lighter such as long toss. Cooper will discuss the next few days with every pitcher, with close attention to the potential ace of his staff.
“He certainly has more to do and higher to climb,’’ Cooper said. “But I don’t think the climb could be going any nicer than it is right now.’’