White Sox

Ballantini: Peavy feels normal, on track for Friday

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Ballantini: Peavy feels normal, on track for Friday

Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Posted: 1:48 p.m. Updated: 2:29 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. Chicago White Sox starter Jake Peavy threw a 40-pitch side session on Tuesday morning and continues to pass each test with flying colors.

The veteran righthander indicated that he felt very strong for the first 25 throws, then started losing strength for the last 15. But the clear indication was that Peavy was feeling no extra effects of his surgery last July and subsequent rehabthis was completely normal.

I got tired and started to lose command, but thats part of a gradual climb, Peavy said. If you watch a bullpen in June, it wont look anything like that. But this time of the year, youre trying to build endurance and get your arm in shape.

All systems remain go for Peavy either starting the fifth game of the season, on April 7, or the first game the White Sox will need a fifth starter, April 9.

Im trying to pick the pace upIve got to find out where we stand, Peavy said. Im certainly putting something on the ball even working out of the stretch. I tapered off toward the end. I got tired, and the command started lacking. Thats part of spring training, getting ready to pitch.

While Peavy is feeling edgy about getting out on the field, hes not nervous about his Cactus League debut.

I dont think so, you gradually get rid of nerves, Peavy said. As much as you want to throw in batting practice and on the side, when a batter gets in there, you certainly I dont know if Ill be going all-out, but Ill certainly by trying to get guys out and wont be throwing cookies in there or throw like batting practice. It just hopefully will be a good step in the right direction. Ive got my fingers crossed, and expect the best.

One thing that Peavy hasnt grown weary of is the Peavy Watch, where the fireballers every move and wince is tracked during this uncommonly non-stealth spring training.

I dont mind it at all, Peavy said. Peavy Watch is part of it. I understand Im going on something unique.

If theres anything Peavy is concerned about, its proving himself to his new White Sox teammates and fan base.

Ive got a lot to prove to myself, to teammates, to the front office, Peavy said. Im not making any bold statements saying I have a lot to prove or anything like that, but as a competitor, you want badly to be the guy they thought they were trading for. Im 29 years old, and I believe I still have a lot left to give.

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

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

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USA TODAY

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

On Wednesday morning, ESPN.com released their rankings of all 30 MLB team's starting rotations. The rankings were a nod to the current structure of the rotation, as well as how they were likely to perform in the future. And that is why the Chicago White Sox being ranked dead last in the league is somewhat alarming. 

Overall, the White Sox rotation is 28th in WHIP and 29th in strikeouts. 

Lucas Giolito is currently the team leader in wins with four, but his ERA sits at an unsightly 7.19. James Shields has been decent in spurts, but a general lack of run support has limited his effectiveness. Carlos Rodon has been a mixed bag since returning, but was able to reach the seventh inning in his last start. This is encouraging considering that he hadn't made it that far in any of his previous three starts. And Reynaldo Lopez continues to rack up quality starts—much like Shields—but has two wins to show for it. 

Veteran players like closing pitcher Joakim Soria and Shields are sure to be hot names on the trade market, and that could go a long way towards bringing in additional prospects to build up the White Sox farm system, and lead to a much improved rotation in the future.

So the White Sox obviously deserve to be ranked lowly until they can groom their minor league starter prospects into MLB-ready staff members, something that looks like it could take longer than originally expected. Flame-throwing top prospect Michael Kopech is still amassing high strikeouts numbers, but he is walking over six batters per outing, showing an obvious issue with control. 

White Sox fans can take their mind off of ESPN ranking the team's rotation 30th in the league by turning their attention to Eloy Jimenez. He has been absolutely crushing it in Double-A Birmingham, and will likely be making his debut with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights on Saturday. That game will be live on NBC Sports Chicago. So sit back, relax and look forward to the future, wherever it may take White Sox faithful. 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

In Part 2 of "Ask Us Anything" we answer the following questions: Who will be the biggest free agent the White Sox sign this off-season? What are the chances they trade Avi Garcia before the deadline? What's your assessment so far of Luis Robert?  Who's on your all-time busted prospect list? Is Omar Vizquel the next White Sox manager? Would the 1994 White Sox have won the World Series if there wasn't a strike?  What's the long term plan at third base? These questions and many more on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

If you missed Part 1 of 'Ask Us Anything', you can listen to the full episode here 

Listen to the full Part 2 of 'Ask Us Anything' at this link or in the embedded player below: