Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

White Sox' Peavy willing to pitch out of bullpen

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MINNEAPOLIS - Whatever it takes or wherever you need me, Jake Peavy says, I will go.
Even the bullpen? Peavy said he bounced it off pitching coach Don Cooper, telling him, ''I'll do whatever needs to be done.''

"If I need to go to the bullpen to help out there, we've got five starters doing their thing. I can be a leader in the rotation as well and be as good as these guys have been. But I'll do whatever it takes because there is no weak link right now on the team.''

Before the Sox' game against the Twins was postponed because of rain, Peavy threw a bullpen side session at Target Field on Tuesday, received a clean MRI report on his strained groin and made plans to make a rehab start for AAA Charlotte on Thursday. He will throw six innings with a 90-pitch limit and if all goes well, return next week when the Sox are home to play the Cubs and the Nationals.

Peavy's unknown bounce-back ability in relief, and perhaps his $16 million salary, are among the factors to weigh. His ability to throw instant strikes and his bulldog mentality lend themselves to relief, perhaps closing.

''Do I think I can pitch out of the bullpen? Absolutely,'' Peavy said. "I think I can help. But I'm certainly not opposed to me being in the six-man rotation, either. We'll see what happens.''

Said manager Ozzie Guillen: "That's got to be a long conversation between a lot of people. This guy has been a starter all of his life. To prepare yourself as a reliever is not the same.''

Guillen spoke with general manager Ken Williams about Peavy before Tuesday night's game was rained out. They appreciate Peavy's willingness to help in any way and won't address the notion until he is healthy enough to pitch again.

"We'll see what happens,'' Peavy said. "But I'm glad to be on such a good team and to be on a team, if this team gets in the playoffs, this team can certainly win a championship. That's all you can ask. The common goal when we're on the flights and sitting around, talking with the guys, grind it out and just try to get in. Do all we can do to get in and give this team a chance because we do feel we have a great chance to win a championship if we do get in."

The Sox and Minnesota Twins were scheduled to open a three-game series at Target Field on Tuesday night, but were delayed by rain. The Sox have won nine of their last 13 and 22 of 35 as they opened a six-game road trip that continues against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Sox in that span went from 11 games below .500 and 11 games out of first place in the AL Central to four games out.

"We've made up some ground,'' Peavy said. "We're not in good position, but in a position to make up some things happen. Cleveland, obviously, has hit a slide like we and all the teams behind them did early. Detroit is starting to play every well. This team is starting to play well. I think it's a big series for the boys. Come up here and win two of three and stop their momentum.

"if you give these guys life... I certainly don't want the Twins to have any more life than they already have. To lose a series and let them have life, we certainly don't want to have to deal with this team down the stretch. We saw the problems that they can create to anybody they play.

"We're believing. We certainly have more upside. Pitching has been outstanding, except for a few hiccups, on this last homestand that cost us some games late. But that's going to happen to any club. I love our pitching. I think we've been about as steady as we can be. Our offense, with [Adam] Dunn getting going and [Alex] Rios starting to show signs, I think we got enough. We have enough talent to win the Central, but we got our work cut out for us with Detroit, as good as they are, Cleveland and this team and Kansas City. We got a tough division."

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on June 14, 2011 6:55 PM.

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