GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The reaction from Jake Peavy after retiring all 13 hitters faced during a controlled Minor League intrasquad game Tuesday morning could have been expected.
First, Peavy smiled over feeling good on the mound once again, marking his first time facing hitters since March 19 against the A's in Phoenix. Then, the veteran right-hander experienced a small sense of déjà vu.
"Here we go again," said Peavy in a reserved but satisfied tone. "We tried it before, and hopefully we can sustain it this time."
One of the more compelling White Sox Spring Training stories over the past six weeks has been Peavy's comeback from experimental surgery on July 14 of last season to reattach the tendon that anchors the latissimus dorsi muscle to the rear of his right shoulder. Peavy not only was climbing pitch count-wise with each of his four Cactus League starts, but looked effective in getting the work done.
Breaking camp with the White Sox didn't seem out of the question. But the shoulder was not bouncing back as well as Peavy would have liked from outing to outing, and he was shut down upon feeling discomfort following the 83-pitch effort against Oakland.
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"We hope, with the medication, the anti-inflammatory and all that good jazz and all the treatment. I'm getting tons of treatment in the training room," Peavy said. "Hopefully that, and with the shoulder one more time, it will start to taxi that load a little better. We hope that's something that happens. I'm going to push to make it happen.
"Being able to put those innings on and come back tomorrow and feel normal soreness and not anything that we'd deem painful and not normal soreness. We hope that's the case and I certainly think having the medication in the system and the treatment we've done, that should be reasonable this time."
A Sunday start for Peavy during extended spring training is next on the agenda, followed by what he hopes will be an April 8 rehab start at Triple-A Charlotte against Norfolk. Peavy will join the White Sox in Chicago on April 9, missing the season opener and home opener, which is a first in his big league career.
If the pitch count continues to rise, possibly hitting the 100 mark in an April 13 rehab start, and the shoulder continues to bounce back, there's an outside shot Peavy could start for the White Sox on April 20. But as Peavy has promised on a few occasions, he won't return until he's completely ready.
Tuesday's effort, complete with the full-on Peavy mound intensity, was a step in the right direction.
"I'll try to get to where I can throw 100 pitches," Peavy said. "When I can do that and bounce back and do it again five days later, I'm going to say I'm ready to pitch in the big leagues and give it all I can to get back to Chicago. When I get to Chicago, I want to stay there."
Stiffness easing for Ramirez, Sale
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Alexei Ramirez reported his sore lower back felt much improved from Monday, when he was a pregame scratch against the Reds.
"The exercises and the treatment I have been getting have helped the back loosen up," said Ramirez, through translator Jackson Miranda.
This back issue cropped up for Ramirez while he was doing Monday agility training, when something tweaked and went out of whack as he was moving from cone to cone. Ramirez never has had back problems, but he's had soreness or tightness in the area for the last couple of weeks.
Even with a forecast of 40 degrees and a chance of snow for Friday in Cleveland, the shortstop doesn't think playing on Opening Day will be an issue.
"No, I don't feel that will have any effect," Ramirez said. "God willing, I will be ready to go for Opening Day."Chris Sale didn't pitch in Tuesday's controlled Minor League intrasquad game, but he did play catch and said his next stiffness was not as big of an issue as Monday. The rookie left-hander pointed to the left trapezius area as the location of the problem, adding it flared up in the offseason but didn't linger.
Guillen helps player development
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Minor League players such as Jim Gallagher, Drew Garcia and Jose Martinez, who were not officially in big league camp, performed well during their callups to Cactus League games. Credit goes to all of these players for taking advantage of the opportunity, but White Sox director of player development Buddy Bell gives manager Ozzie Guillen kudos for helping these kids along.
"Ozzie never says anything bad about our kids," Bell said. "He's so easy to work with in terms of sending guys over and getting them playing time.
"We care about how they act and how they play and perform. But for the most part, you are going to have managers that are going to say, 'We don't want that guy anymore. Don't send that guy.' Well he's a Minor Leaguer, and Ozzie gets it. It's so much easier for our kids to be able to perform and see what they can do. He treats them great."
Third to first
The White Sox traded Minor League infielder/outfielder John Shelby, Jr. to Tampa Bay in exchange for future considerations. Shelby was taken in the fifth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft and hit .273 over five seasons in the White Sox organization. ... Phil Humber worked four innings opposite Jake Peavy during Tuesday's Minor League controlled intrasquad game. Matt Thornton also pitched one scoreless inning.