GLENDALE, Ariz. - In another encouraging sign of progress, Sox pitcher Jake Peavy threw a pair of 20-pitch sessions to live hitters on Wednesday, staying on the same program as other Sox pitchers.
With general manager Ken Williams, assistant GM Rick Hahn and other Sox brass watching from golf carts while pitching coach Don Cooper observed from behind the mound, Peavy threw more breaking pitches than he had in his first such outing on Monday.
"It was another step in the right direction,'' Peavy said. "I'm excited about it.''
"For him to just be out there...but now he's throwing the ball better,'' Cooper said. "He probably went up a notch in intensity. It's a credit to surgeons, a credit to Jake and a credit to Herm [Schneider] following through on all the things he is going through. We have more to climb but I don't think the climb could be going any better right now.''
Peavy, a former Cy Young winner who sits atop the team's payroll list at $16 million this season, missed the second half of last season after having surgery to repair a torn lat muscle below his right shoulder.
"Modern medicine has come a long way, for me to be able to have surgery for something like this,'' Peavy said. "You recall those days before [advanced] surgery, you weren't even sure if you'd ever be able to pitch again. Now you come back and throwing with some velocity, breaking balls and everything else, pain-free, I feel very fortunate and very blessed.''
Peavy felt normal soreness as most pitchers do during the opening week of camp. But he said the lat area felt good.
"I feel completely pain free. I feel normal,'' he said. "Obviously there is some stiffness and soreness, but I feel normal. That's something I haven't felt in quite a while.''
"He had better stuff, increased intensity and the ball was going more where the glove was,'' Cooper said. "Now, he is as tough a judge on things as anybody I have ever had. He will throw pitches that I like but he doesn't like. That's him. But I'm sitting back there liking everything. Whatever pitch he was throwing. It had a little more zip on it and it was going where he wanted it to go more often.''