PEORIA, Ariz. -- Don't look at Jake Peavy's Cactus League statistics at Peoria Stadium Sunday to figure out where the right-hander stands in preparation for the 2013 campaign.
Listen to the genuine excitement in the voice of the 12-year veteran, excitement coming from his first truly healthy and confident Spring Training as part of the White Sox, and coming off of arguably his best individual season since winning the 2007 National League Triple Crown of pitching as part of Sunday's opponent from San Diego.
"This is the first time I'm free from that," said Peavy of the right ankle injury and then lat reattachment surgery in 2010 that he has worked through since joining the White Sox. "It's not in the back of my head.
"You have no idea what the future holds -- I may go out tomorrow and my elbow could blow up. That's the risk we all take. But I think the numbers velocity-wise today proves that to a lot of guys around camp. I had a little bit more than I had at any point all of last year. That's a nice sign for me and something to build on. You have to keep getting stronger."
Peavy made his 2013 debut against Padres pitcher Clayton Richard, who was part of the 2009 White Sox trade to acquire Peavy. He allowed three runs on five hits over three innings, striking out two and throwing 30 of his 44 pitches for strikes.
Of those 44 pitches, Peavy figures about 38 or 39 were fastballs. He went to the offspeed offerings to finish off strikeouts against Everth Cabrera and Jedd Gyorko. This is the time for Peavy to work on specific aspects of his repertoire, and Sunday was fastball command.
"If I make a pitch in Spring Training and it's not how it needs to be, I'm going to do it again until it ..." Peavy said. "But I felt great. I really did. You get your mechanics going game speed, you get your fastball command where it needs to be. Everything else works off of that."
In his second-to-last Cactus League start, possibly against the Dodgers on March 23, Peavy wants to get over 100 pitches and will pretty much put everything together. His energy was in midseason form, though, after Sunday's effort.
"People look at box scores, and you don't want to give up runs through Spring Training," Peavy said. "For someone who doesn't have to show what you can do to make the team, this is the only time to work on things.
"I feel as healthy as I've felt for a long time. What it translates into, who knows? But it's a nice place to be compared to last year when you're wondering if you'll come close to being the same guy."