White Sox

Peavy Watch: Tampa Edition

Peavy Watch: Tampa Edition

Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Posted: 6:54 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.The sigh of relief could be heard 1,200 miles south.

Jake Peavy flew up to Chicago on Tuesday, one day removed from leaving his rehabilitation start in Birmingham, Ala. last night after throwing just 15 pitches.

Peavys MRI was completely normal, according to White Sox doctors. The discomfort Peavy felt last nightpain that prompted his removal from a projected 90-pitch startwas mere inflammation of the latissimus dorsi muscle that was surgically reattached last July. That pain is possibly related to, but different from, the shoulder tendinitis that sidelined Peavy during spring training, eventually slowing his rehab enough to keep him in extended spring training once the White Sox broke camp.

The course of action for Peavy is to cease throwing for four days (including today) and adhere to a six-day anti-inflammatories regimen. On Friday, he will resume throwing and prepare for his next rehab start on Thursday, April 28.

"I was kind of worried last night, but with the news we have, I feel better," said manager Ozzie Guillen, who showed real concern for Peavy on Monday but characterized his aborted start as more bad news for the White Sox after Chicagos loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. "But I stay with the same plan. I wish I could say, 'I will have this guy the next day, one week, two weeks, one month,' but Ive got to wait and go through the process and see what happens."

Peavy allowed three runs on four hits vs. Mississippi on Monday, and such an extreme decisionleaving the contest some 75 pitches short of his goal, caused everyone following the hurlers road back from the uncharted territory of latissimus dorsi muscle reattachment to take a deep breath and fear the worst.

But the news is much brighter than that, with Peavy missing his next startscheduled for Saturday for AAA Charlottebut resuming his throwing activity this Friday and aiming for an official return to the mound in just a week and half.

We're hoping Jake comes back and we're anticipating him coming back, but right now we need our starting pitchers to step up and we need our bullpen to be more consistent," pitching coach Don Cooper said before Tuesdays game in St. Petersburg and before Peavys prognosis was known. "We've lost a few games, and the best way to stop a losing streak is for somebody to step up and shut down the other team."

Peavy is expected to fly to Florida and meet up with Cooper and the White Sox staff on Wednesday to map out any tweaks needed to his throwing program. What was initially seen as a most optimistic prognosisPeavys return to the majors being pushed back from May 1 to May 15 or thereaboutsnow appears to be right on target.

But thats not something Guillen is going to lose sleep over.

"Nothing against Jake, but if you're not here, I don't worry about you," he said. "I didn't worry about Carlos Quentin when he was rehabbing, or Mark Teahen. When they say, This guy is ready to go, I'll be more than happy to have him with the club.

Guillens got a pointone he wasnt afraid to hammer home, with a laugh.

The way we're playing, the last guy who is going through my mind is Jake."

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

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USA TODAY

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

The White Sox freed up a spot on their 40-man roster Sunday, outrighting pitcher Dylan Covey to Triple-A Charlotte.

Covey pitched in 18 games last season, making 12 starts for the South Siders. Things did not go well, with Covey turning in an 0-7 record and a 7.71 ERA in 70 innings.

While there was an outside chance that Covey could have provided at least some starting-pitching depth heading into the 2018 season, the team's recent additions of Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago — not to mention Covey's results from last season — wiped out that idea.

At the moment, the White Sox starting rotation figures to look like this by Opening Day: James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer, with Santiago seeming like a good option to provide depth as the long man in the bullpen.

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Sunday marked the first surprise of White Sox spring training, courtesy of first baseman Jose Abreu.

“This year, I’m going to try to steal more bases,” Abreu said through a translator.

This might have sounded like a joke, but Abreu was completely serious.

On paper, he’s not exactly Rickey Henderson. In 614 career games, Abreu has only six stolen bases. However, the slimmed-down first baseman does have some sneaky speed. His six triples last season ranked third in the American League. So there are some wheels to work with.

“I like the challenge. I think that’s a good challenge for me. I’m ready for it,” Abreu said.

How many steals are we talking about? A reporter asked sarcastically if a 30-30 season is in the offing? Abreu didn’t exactly shoot down the possibility.

“Who knows? When you fill your mind with positive things, maybe you can accomplish them,” Abreu said. “The mind of a human being works in a lot of different ways. If you fill your mind with good things, good things are going to happen.”

The morning began with Abreu walking to the hitting cages with his Cuban compadres Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, who the White Sox signed last summer. He held his first workout on Sunday. At the White Sox hitters camp last month, Moncada took Robert under his wing, showing him the ropes, even telling Ricky Renteria, “I got him.”

But Sunday, Abreu was in charge, holding court with the three of them in the cage. Abreu watched closely as Robert hit off a tee, giving him pointers about his swing.

“I just like to help people,” Abreu said. “When I started to play at 16 in Cuba, I had a lot people who hounded me to get better. At the same point, I want to give back things that I’ve learned and pass that along to other people. That’s what I’m doing. I’m not expecting anything else. I’m just glad to help them and get them better.”

What kind of advice has he passed along to Robert?

“Since I came to this country, I learned quickly three keys to be a success: Be disciplined, work hard and always be on time. If you apply those three keys, I think you’re going to be good. Those are the three keys I’m trying to teach the new kids, the young guys,” Abreu said.

Abreu lost about 10 pounds during the offseason. He said he hopes to learn more English in 2018. He also arrived at spring training sporting a scruffy beard which he grew while he was in Cuba so he “could be incongnito.”

Abreu likes his new look. Moncada thinks he should shave it off.

“If the organization doesn’t say anything, I’m just going to keep it,” Abreu said.

Well, so much for that.

Moments after Abreu spoke with the media, Renteria told reporters that Abreu will have to “clean it up a bit.”

The two will find a compromise. Come to think of it, maybe Abreu and the White Sox should do the same about a contract extension in the near future.

Yes, he’ll be 33 when his contract expires in two years, but there have been no signs of a decline with his performance. Instead, Abreu is only getting better both offensively and defensively.

Heck, now he wants to steal bases, too.

After Renteria, Abreu is the leader of this team. He commands ultimate respect inside the clubhouse. He’s become another coach to Moncada, Robert and others. He’s a huge brick in the present and too big of an influence and cornerstone to not have around in the future.

“I hope to play my entire career in the majors with the White Sox,” Abreu said Sunday. “But I can’t control that.”

At some point, a decision will have to be made whether to keep Abreu or trade him. In the meantime, ask yourself this question: What will bring more value to the White Sox, getting a high-end prospect or two in return not knowing if they’ll ever succeed in the majors? Or keeping your best player, the heart and soul of your team, allowing him to show your future stars the way while they’re developing in the major leagues?

Seems like an easy decision to me.