GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Baseball's most stirring comeback this spring continued to build drama. White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy made it through his third Cactus League start unscathed and is talking about opening the season in the Sox rotation.
Peavy, coming back from major shoulder surgery last July, threw 67 pitches over four innings, "found some flaws out there, worked on some things, fixed 'em" and pronounced Monday just about as good a spring training day as a guy could have.
He got into some trouble in the fourth, serving up consecutive singles and then a two-run homer to Mike Baxter, but found value in that because he had a chance to work out of the stretch and noted "I think that was the most exciting part of my day." He surrendered six hits and three earned runs over his four innings, walking one and fanning two.
Peavy's pitches were clocked between 89 and 93 m.p.h. via the radar guns in the scouts' area behind the plate. Most of his fastballs checked in at 91. The 93 was his highest velocity of the spring.
Some folks who know Peavy as well as anyone were impressed, too.
"I thought Jake threw the ball well," said Padres manager Bud Black, who had Peavy in San Diego. "His fastball looked good, he had a good slider.
"He didn't look to me as though he's lost anything. He looked really good."
Among other things, Peavy was encouraged in that he bounced back well in his third start of the spring after not feeling quite as good last Wednesday against San Francisco.
"I was a little bit nervous after the last start because I didn't bounce back the way we thought," he said. "I tell you, we put in some hours in the trainers' room, and in the weight room. ... I felt quite a bit better today than I did the other day. I think you saw the fatigue starts to set in around the 50-pitch, 60-pitch mark."
The key, Peavy said, was learning how to moderate his workload between starts.
"My volume was so high," he said. "We came in in this rehab mode, and I'm doing this shoulder program that the White Sox have implemented, and I still want to do all of that as well as the exercises that I've been doing all winter.
"I just think my volume was so high there's no rest time. Rehab and pitching at same time, you've just got to maintain your strength. Holding back volume, I think that made a little bit of a difference."
Peavy said he continues to feel as though he's on a normal spring progression, and "hopefully I'll jump into that No. 5 spot [in the opening day rotation]. If we do have a setback, as far as we've come and as far down the road as it's been, I can't see it being much of a setback."
Asked how he would feel if the Sox occasionally skipped him in the rotation to preserve his health, Peavy said flatly, "I want to pitch. I'm going to fight that battle. ...
"If I'm deemed healthy, I want the ball every time it comes around. I'll certainly battle my authorities. I'll put up a pretty good fight."