(MCT) — PEORIA, Ariz.—After his first start of the spring, Jake Peavy stood at his locker Sunday and answered questions for six minutes.
Not once was he asked about his health, how his arm felt, how his shoulder felt.
It was a first for Peavy since joining the White Sox in the middle of 2009. And he was well aware of the meaning, which he shared with pitching coach Don Cooper.
"I told Coop that this is the first time I'm free from that," Peavy said after giving up three runs in three innings during a 4-0 loss to the Padres. "(Health) is not in the back of my head,"
Since coming to the Sox with an injured ankle during a highly-publicized trade, Peavy not only has come back from that but a sore arm, a tired arm and a rare surgery for a detached lat muscle.
Now, for the first time, he feels like he is coming down the hill instead of puffing his way up.
He has become a regular pitcher who can talk about results of the day instead of long-term hopes. If there is any hope now, it's that Peavy can move closer to his 2007 Cy Young form with the Padres.
"I feel as healthy as I've felt for a long time," Peavy said. "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 (as years past).
"It was nice to go into the training room and be normal, just for a cooldown."
It's a pleasant sight for manager Robin Ventura, who hasn't been in the Sox clubhouse for most of the Peavy drama of the last few seasons.
"He hasn't been tentative at all," Ventura said. "He knows how to work and get his pitches in, but health-wise this year is a lot different for him. I don't look at it as though we have questions of health."
So Peavy can now talk about results, which didn't have him fretting after he was rapped around by the Padres on Sunday. He allowed three runs on five hits in the first two innings before pitching a perfect third inning.
"I know people look at box scores," he said. "You don't want to give up runs, runs, runs through spring training, but 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."
And Peavy said he worked almost exclusively on fastball location Sunday.
"I felt excited about getting strong, getting your fastball command where it needs to be and everything else works off of that," he said. "You get your mechanics going game speed, you get your fastball command where it needs to be and everything else works off of that.
"It was my first spring start and I'm not result-oriented. You like to have results, don't get me wrong. But it was a good first day."