DETROIT -- The White Sox had a chance to give Jake Peavy extra rest after he threw 55 pitches during a four-inning, scoreless relief outing against Washington on June 25. Instead, Peavy came back for his June 30 start in Colorado on regular rest, allowing him to make starts against the Royals and the Twins before the end of the first half.
It was a move White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper vehemently defended to MLB.com when questions arose as to why Peavy didn't get that extra day or two after his dominant bullpen debut. It's a move Cooper still staunchly supports, even though Peavy said that his arm didn't bounce back the way he wanted over those last three first-half starts.
"Did we bring him back early? No, we didn't," Cooper told MLB.com on Saturday in Detroit. "He pitched five days later, and in a normal situation. When you have five starters, you are going to have to do that.
"You combine that with a guy that has had the physical history over the last year, and it drained him a bit. In the situation and the spot that he's in, obviously it taxed him more than we wanted to tax him."
Cooper explained that Peavy's season will be filled with "peaks and valleys" naturally coming after surgery to reattach the lat muscle in his right posterior shoulder last July 14. It's a fact that Cooper was resigned to back in Spring Training, with the significant nature of the injury and the procedure probably keeping Peavy from 100 percent until the start of 2012.
By giving Peavy these extra two days coming out of the All-Star break, Cooper and the White Sox are trying to let Peavy regroup physically and provide him the best chance to help the team win.
"Those last two times out, it wasn't exactly what we were looking for," said Cooper of Peavy, who has allowed 10 runs on 16 hits over his last 10 1/3 innings. "We are fighting our way through it and we are using this time to try to gas his tank up a little bit to give us a better opportunity on his day.
"We want to give the players what they want. If you want it that bad, we believe in you, too. In this case here, with Jake, we are going to have to continue to just monitor that situation."