GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After a miserable White Sox debut and finish to the 2009 season, one in which Alex Rios hit .199 over 146 at-bats, the outfielder told the media last Spring Training how the '10 season would be a personal turnaround.
In fact, Rios predicted that in one year from that point, his rough start with the White Sox would be nothing but a distant memory. On Monday afternoon, one day before White Sox position players were scheduled to report, Rios could bask in the afterglow of his dead-on prognostication.
Rios hit .284 with 21 home runs, 84 RBIs and 34 stolen bases last year. The talented veteran never had any doubt that a return to his normal career numbers was coming, especially being more comfortable with the South Siders in his first full season.
"I just knew what I could do," Rios said. "When you're confident of the things you can do, a lot of good things can happen. I don't try to be a superstar or a mega-superstar. I know what I can do and don't try to do things. I just try to keep it simple and go with the flow."
When asked if he was entering the prime of his career, Rios smiled and said his body and mind were both in good places. Rios also didn't care where he hits in this loaded lineup.
"We're the team to beat," Rios said. "We're going to give a hard time to a lot of people out there."
Peavy pleased after throwing batting practice
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- If Jordan Danks had a vote on where Jake Peavy starts the 2011 regular season, then the veteran right-hander would break camp with the White Sox.
"It looked like he picked up right where he left off last year," said Jordan, who was one of three hitters to face Peavy during Monday's live batting practice after going against Peavy twice during last year's Spring Training. "He looked good to me."
While Danks holds the White Sox respect for his on-field ability, he won't be surveyed before a decision is made on Peavy. But terming Monday's 40-pitch effort against Danks, Brandon Short and Stefan Gartrell as "a big step," Peavy seemed encouraged that his recovery from season-ending surgery for a detached latissimus dorsi muscle in his right shoulder was pointing toward no time away from the team when this promising campaign begins.
"Jumping on the mound vs. hitters, putting more on the ball, I threw some breaking balls for the first time," said Peavy, explaining Monday's effort at what he believed was about 75 percent off the mound with the standard screen in front of him. "I threw fastball, changeup.
"But I was putting more on the ball today than I had in previous times off the mound, so it was obviously a nice climb. We did that without any kind of pain or any setback. I was no different than any other guy."
Peavy traveled to Alabama this past weekend to attend his grandmother's funeral. He threw a side session there Saturday in order to stay on schedule.
Manager Ozzie Guillen was impressed by what he saw, adding how the White Sox will know more about Peavy when he makes his first Cactus League start March 4 in Tempe against the Angels and starts to build up his innings. But as Guillen pointed out, it's not so much how Peavy looks, but how he feels.
So while Peavy's effort was strong, how he bounces back and feels on Tuesday will be just as important.
"Tomorrow will kind of be a measuring stick to see where we're at, how the lat and the rest of the shoulder bounces back," Peavy said. "I expect there to be soreness, but everybody in camp's going to be sore. I just hope it's the right kind of soreness and we don't have any setbacks."
"The only guy who can give you that information is him, and he looked nice and free," Guillen said. "He didn't look tight. He didn't look uncomfortable there. I like what I see. But like I say, he will have the last word. We have to trust what he does. We have to go by what he says. But I'm very happy and pleased he was facing hitters."
Ozzie won't prolong third-base decision
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen doesn't intend to drag out the starting third-base decision to be made between Brent Morel and Mark Teahen.
"My wish is that we make that decision quicker and make sure those guys know where they stand and what their roles are going to be," Guillen said. "We have to make that decision quick enough to give those guys a chance to do what they are supposed to do, but I have to wait until the games start to see what happens."
Guillen is concerned about figuring out what's next for Morel if the rookie doesn't get the starting nod -- or even misses out on the Opening Day roster. He also wants to give Teahen innings in other on-field spots if his role ends up falling into the utility category.
"I'm coming in here and trying to earn the job and go from there," Teahen said. "I came up as a third baseman and that's where I'm most comfortable, so you know, obviously, last year didn't go as planned."
Third to first
Jake Peavy admitted there were times right after suffering last year's right shoulder injury when he worried if he would be able to come back. "Certainly, that's a thing you think about when you have some alone time," Peavy said. "But I think we're passed all that now and I'm looking forward to trying to get back to being what I know I can be." ... The full White Sox roster is expected to be in camp Tuesday when position players are set to report. Only a handful of players had not checked in early by Monday. "[Paul Konerko] is the only one I worry about showing up on time, because he's driving here," Ozzie Guillen said with a laugh. Konerko makes his family's home in the Phoenix Valley area.