Pitchers Ahead of Hitters — Day 5
Monday, February 21, 2011
With full squad reporting tomorrow, the final day of pitchers and catchers in camp featured our pitchers throwing live batting practice to a few of our hitters who had arrived in camp early.
And that included Jake Peavy.
As John Danks warmed up on one mound, his manager Ozzie Guillen arrived on the scene, shouting, “Give me a helmet, give me a bat.”
Startled, John looked up and then laughed.
“C’mon,” he said, encouraging his manager.
Ozzie passed (although that would have made for good video).
On another field, Peavy and Edwin Jackson prepared to throw to BP stints to Sox hitters.
At first, he drew little attention, but as Ken Williams and others from the organization pulled up in golf carts to watch, more and more media filed over.
Like the other hurlers, Peavy threw two different rounds and then headed in for conditioning.
“Today went well,” Peavy offered. “It was a step in the right direction. I threw 40-50 pitches, just like everyone else.
“Tomorrow is a big day to see how the arm responds.”
Peavy explained that he put a little more on the ball today, threw breaking balls for the first time and went at about 75 percent. He did all that with no pain.
“It’s not how he looks, but how he feels,” Guillen said of Peavy after the workout. “To me, he looked nice and free, not tight. I’m very pleased that Jake was able to go out there today and see hitters. I like the way he threw.”
Following Peavy was reliever Matt Thornton, who was warming up on a side mound under the eye of pitching coordinator Kirk Champion.
“Starting pitchers have to have their special mound,” Thornton teasingly said as he tried his own form of groundskeeping, dragging his spike across the divots made by Peavy and Jackson. The point he clearly made was that “real” pitchers like relievers just deal with whatever conditions they inherit.
Festivites were interrupted by a rare visit to the back fields by assistant trainer Brian Ball.
“Brian, welcome. You like our facilities?” the manager crooned.
Everyone piled on, including pitching coach Don Cooper.
“Brian,” he called out. But before Coop could finish the dig, “Baller” beat him to it.
“What do you need Coop?” Ball asked. “Did you overexert yourself? Are you overheating?”
As pitcher after pitcher took the mound on one of three diamonds, it soon was Mark Buehrle’s turn.
“Mark, Mark,” Ozzie yelled from an adjoining field.
“I’m working,” Buehrle responded, literally in mid pitch. “Shut up!”
Click here to view video of Peavy pitching.