White Sox

Ballantini: The Peavy comeback

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Ballantini: The Peavy comeback

Saturday, March 5, 2011
10:14 a.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

For the first time, Jake Peavy felt comfortable acknowledging what every White Sox fan was holding their breaths aboutnever pitching again.

When you do something as unprecedented as I did, tearing the lat completely off the bone, there certainly can be some doubts creeping in your head with what the future holds, Peavy said. At the same time, being an athlete and competitor who prides himself on being mentally tough and strong, you have to get it in your mind Im going to come back from thisI dont care what has to happen of what I have to do.

By being back on the mound just less than eight months since his devastating injury last July, Peavy has beaten expectations by some 150 percent.

I was told to expect about a year to come back, Peavy said. Thats the norm when you tear tendons. And this wasnt a minor tear, I detached something from the bone.

With expectations set very conservatively, Peavy submitted to surgery in mid-July truly having no idea what was in store.

It was experimental surgery, he said. First off, they asked me if they could videotape the surgery to have some documentation of it. Anthony Romeo out of Chicago did my surgery. I felt very confident in talking about the procedure, of how he was going to get it attached back to the bone.

Romero had to get his muscle from his back and run stitches, sutures and anchors into his bone in order to reattach and anchor the muscle, Peavy said.

I did watch the video, he said. Im not ashamed of what happened for worried about risking anything in the future I wish I would have had Tommy John or some other surgery instead where there was some history.

We had to sit down and come up with our own throwing program and rehab program. Theres not really any precedent set for doing what I did. You want to document everything, because if this injury was to happen again to another pitcher, there would be some help for guys coming back.

And yes, there was a game

While Peavy was the main story Friday and rightfully so, the White Sox fell to 1-4 in early Cactus play with a 3-1 loss. Kendrick was the nemesis, stroking run-scoring safeties in the fourth off of Jesse Crain and in the sixth off of Josh Kinney. In the seventh, Phil Humber gave up a run to account for L.A.s tallies.

The White Sox continued to be mostly anemic on offense, mustering just one afterthought run in the ninth inning. Jim Gallagher, who is playing as if hes the only one in camp who thinks he has a shot at the Opening Day roster, tripled leading off and was knocked home on a Brent Lillibridge single. Lillibridge, who might need to be reminded his roster spot is very much in jeopardy, then was picked off of first base by Ryan Brasier for the first out of the inning. The White Sox also loaded the bases in back-to-back innings (with one out in the fifth and none in the sixth) but were turned away empty-handed.

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

Dylan Cease shows off big velocity in first spring training start

Dylan Cease shows off big velocity in first spring training start

Dylan Cease is entering the 2020 season with plenty to prove. Considering how important he is to the future of the White Sox, it is perhaps fitting he was the first White Sox pitcher to take a mound in a spring training game.

On Saturday, Cease pitched two innings against the Cincinnati Reds as he ramps up to full strength. The most notable thing wasn’t how long he pitched or what his stat line was. It was his fastball.

Cease's fastball sat mostly at 96-98 mph and topped at 99. Cease quipped there could be a bit more in terms of his velocity.


Cease averaged 96.5 mph on his fastball in the majors in 2019. In 73 innings, he threw nine pitches that were at least 99 mph, topping out at 100.1 mph, according to Baseball Savant. He was capable of throwing that hard, but didn't do it often. For Cease to be on the higher end of his average and feature a 99 mph fastball in his first pitches of Cactus League baseball might be a sign that he could have added a touch more velocity.

It’s also just a two-inning spring training start, meaning Cease knew he could let fly a bit more in a shorter outing. Cease told reporters after his start he was focusing on his fastball command. He struck out three with no walks and three hits allowed.

In his rookie season, Cease struggled with command and consistency. He had a 5.79 ERA with 81 strikeouts and 35 walks over 14 starts.

February baseball doesn't carry any meaning, but this is a small encouraging sign for Cease.

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Kenny Williams shuts down rumor connecting free agent Yasiel Puig to White Sox

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USA TODAY

Kenny Williams shuts down rumor connecting free agent Yasiel Puig to White Sox

You can put to bed the rumors about free agent outfielder Yasiel Puig possibly signing with the White Sox. It’s not happening.

The two sides did get together during the MLB Winter Meetings in December. Kenny Williams, Rick Hahn and Rick Renteria met with Puig for about 90 minutes to discuss the possibility of the 29-year-old joining the White Sox as their everyday right fielder.

But instead, the White Sox chose to take a different route. That same week, they acquired Nomar Mazara from the Texas Rangers for minor league outfielder Steele Walker, ending any chance of Puig coming to the South Side.

“After our meeting we came away big Yasiel Puig fans, but he wasn’t the right fit for us then and he isn’t right now,” Williams said.

With spring training games starting this weekend and the regular season a little over a month away, fellow Cuban Jose Abreu says he’s surprised the flashy 29-year-old outfielder remains a free agent.

“Yes, I am (surprised). That’s one of those things that happen that you don’t understand. A guy with his talent. He’s still so young,” Abreu said through a translator. “He doesn’t have a team yet. It’s a surprise. I’m confident he’s going to find something this year.”

Even with Puig’s talent, Abreu looks around the White Sox clubhouse and agrees with the decision by the White Sox not to sign the former All-Star who hit .267/.327/.458 with the Reds and Indians last season.

“I don’t think he would be a good fit here. Don’t get me wrong. He has a lot of talent but we’re full," Abreu said. "Our outfield is looking great with Nomar (Mazara), Eloy (Jimenez) and (Luis) Robert. There’s no reason for us to make more moves in that area of our team. He’s someone who would fit in with any major league ball club because he has the talent to help any of those teams.”

What about possibly platooning Puig with Mazara in right field? On paper, that might sound like a good plan, although Puig has traditionally hit better against righties than lefties in his career. But a larger issue could be the timeshare. The idea of Puig, nicknamed “Wild Horse,” being forced to the stable for half the season could spell problems not only for him, but the chemistry inside the clubhouse.

“It would be difficult, especially for him being an everyday player,” Abreu said about Puig being a platoon player.  “When you have to make that decision, it’s not easy.”

So, where will Puig end up?  No one knows for sure but it won’t be with the White Sox.  

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