White Sox starters have hit the ground running this spring, and Jose Quintana took it up a notch on Saturday while throwing three perfect innings. His arm-side fastball command isn't quite there yet, but he did a throw a couple of nice backdoor sliders to righties, and he had a good handle on the up-the-ladder fastball for a couple of strikeouts. He's out to prove that last season wasn't a fluke, and that's a good way to start.
And then you have Jake Peavy, the first starter to really "get work in" this spring. Throwing mainly fastballs (37 out of 44 pitches), he was pasted around Peoria Sports Complex by the Padres on Sunday. He gave up three runs on five hits over three innings, including three doubles.
In other words, it's basically how he began his spring last year, as he gave up three runs on four hits over two innings in his first Cactus League start of 2012. In both cases, the story was the same -- Peavy's healthy, and there are no questions about his shoulder. In classic Peavy soliloquy form:
"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."
One way Peavy can get stronger is by remembering to pack his jersey:
Every player is responsible for bringing his jersey to away games. Today, starting pitcher Jake Peavy’s travel bag didn’t have a jersey when he arrived at Peoria’s ballpark just a few miles north of Glendale. So the former Cy Young Award winner tried to make do by using athletic tape to spell P-e-a-v-y on the back of a blank "54″ jersey. All turned out OK by first pitch, though, as Jake’s No. 44 arrived at the ballpark in Peoria by the time he took the mound.
Hector Gimenez caught Peavy, and his increased exposure is giving us more opportunities to learn about his backstory. Scott Merkin talks to Gimenez about his injury history -- labrum surgery cost him a chance at a job in 2007, and a knee injury in 2011.
More interesting to me is Mark Parent's perspective on Gimenez:
Parent believes that one of Gimenez's strongest suits, the in-game time he takes communicating with the pitcher to get him to relax, also is one of his downfalls. That extra conversation or two, which he used beneficially to slow down Sale on Friday and help him find a mound rhythm, also can slow down the game.
"When that's your only minus we see -- he's working on that," Parent said. "He has good professional at-bats. He's low maintenance. His swing is low maintenance. His approach to catching is low maintenance. He has enough experience. Grinds out at-bats. Throws well."
*Jared Mitchell, coming off a game in which he hit an impressive opposite-field homer, likes the groove he's in this spring. He should -- he's 5-for-12 with the aforementioned homer, triple and double.