GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy said he felt fine on Thursday a day after throwing a 40-pitch side session. Peavy is penciled in on March 4 to make his first start of the spring in Chicago's fifth Cactus League game -- against the Angels in Tempe, Ariz.
That would place Peavy on target to start the fifth game of the regular season on April 6 against the Royals at Kansas City, barring any regression from surgery this past season to repair a detached muscle in his right shoulder.
"I'm far ahead of where I thought I would be at this point," Peavy said. "But I can't push it and I've got to be cautious."
Manager Ozzie Guillen said Peavy would've been his Opening Day starter if completely healthy, but he has backed him up this spring to the rear of the five-man rotation behind Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd, John Danks and Edwin Jackson just to give him some extra time to recover. Guillen said on Thursday that Buehrle will be his Opening Day starter on April 1 against the Indians in Cleveland, barring anything "drastic" happening.
Guillen admitted he is surprised that the 29-year-old Peavy, a National League Cy Young Award winner with the Padres in 2007, has progressed as quickly as he has.
"I'm very surprised, very happy and very concerned," Guillen said. "You never know. This guy has had a very tough injury. But I talk to him every day. He feels better. I think he's tired, it's getting old with people on our club asking him how he feels. But that's our job. He gives us good answers every time we ask him."