OAKLAND -- Remember when Jake Peavy was getting knocked around during Spring Training, allowing 13 runs on 19 hits over 13 1/3 innings?
Well, the right-hander certainly recalls the concern over his Arizona struggles. But he could only offer up a resigned smile when talking about the importance of Spring Training to a veteran hurler after his dominant Monday night showing against the A's.
"I tried to tell you guys the only question that should be asked in Spring Training is, 'How do you feel?'" Peavy said. "That should be asked all around the clubhouse with guys who have been in the Major Leagues.
"Spring Training is an absolute non-factor, non-issue. You use it to get your arm in shape. This same A's team in Spring Training beat me around the ballpark. I do laugh about that, and I hope now people understand Spring Training numbers really, really mean nothing all around the board."
Peavy put those Cactus League struggles further behind him with a three-hit shutout against the A's. The effort dropped Peavy's ERA to 1.88 and reduced his opponents' average against to .172. He leads the White Sox with 26 strikeouts and 28 2/3 innings pitched.
Of greatest importance is that Peavy felt great the day after throwing a complete game. He played a little long toss, did his shoulder work and added in cardio.
"Hopefully, those days of worrying how I'm going to feel the next day are over," Peavy said. "I really feel as normal as I should. I'm excited for Saturday and the ... big challenge ahead of us coming back home."
At 21 months removed from surgery to reattach his lat muscle, Peavy feels he's returned to the needed level of mound normalcy. It's not a quick process, though, as Peavy illustrated by mentioning early-season struggles by Josh Johnson and Adam Wainwright after surgery.
"Those guys are great. And as time goes by and the longer removed they are from surgery, they will grow their way back into [being] that guy," Peavy said. "It has been here for me for the first few starts. It's fun to be the guy that [White Sox general manager] Kenny [Williams] traded for me to be.
"I'm really not feeling like I owe it to anybody, but I want to give that to Kenny because he stepped out on a limb and got me over [here], and has taken some scrutiny in taking me and Alex [Rios]. But Kenny wants to win, and he scouted me and knew what I used to do. And now I'm excited that I'm able to give a little back and help."