CHICAGO -- Jake Peavy and White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper have been working on the exact same page for the entirety of the right-hander's comeback to excellence this season.
There was, however, a moment during Cactus League competition this year in which Peavy endured a rough outing, struggling with his gradual preparation for the regular season, and the two exchanged words in the White Sox dugout. But even that vocal disagreement did no harm to the duo's working relationship.
"We had a little something in Spring Training, and it wasn't a big thing," Cooper told MLB.com. "I just didn't like the way we were handling it that day. Sometimes it's good to get stuff out, and we know we don't have to always agree on stuff. At least at the end of any conversation, we are going to know where we are at."
"It's really been the same since we've got here," Peavy told MLB.com. "Me and Coop have had one time where we have not been on the same page. It's the only time we've ever had words to each other and not talked through anything that we've ever differed on."
If any sort of past working impediment existed between these two knowledgeable pitching minds, it came strictly from Peavy's health issues since joining the White Sox via trade from the Padres on July 31, 2009. Peavy is currently more than two years removed from surgery to reattach his lat muscle and takes a 3.11 ERA over 168 innings and 24 starts into Friday's series opener against the Mariners.
Peavy has tossed a team-best four complete games, recorded a team-high 150 strikeouts and limited the opposition to a .233 average. He's been the sort of top-of-the-rotation hurler general manager Ken Williams and Cooper expected the White Sox would have when the deal was made. It just took the veteran a little while to get back to full strength.
"Now, I think he understands me more than ever," Peavy said of Cooper. "But our relationship as far as professional and then hanging out off the field, it has always been fine in my eyes and we've always been able to talk through things."
"I don't worry about stuff that happens last week, last year, two years ago," said Cooper, who called Peavy a low-maintenance guy in many ways and a pitcher whose "preparation is flawless." "I'm only dealing with today. I really am. And Jake being healthy has just been great. That's all we ever wanted from him. That's all he ever wanted."