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Andy Behrens

Jake Peavy impressive again, is basically a surgical miracle

Andy Behrens
Roto Arcade

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Chicago White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy(notes) delivered another excellent spring stat line on Wednesday afternoon, tossing 3.2 innings against the Giants, allowing just one hit and one run. He was perfect through three innings, so he pitched from the stretch in the fourth, just to simulate the runners-on-base experience. The only real blemish on his day was an Aubrey Huff(notes) solo homer, though Peavy later said, "Huff hit a pretty good pitch. I think it was off the plate."

So, all things considered, that was an impressive effort from Peavy — and neither he nor his catcher actually thought he was particularly sharp. This is all quite encouraging. Peavy is just eight months removed from an experimental surgical procedure that reattached muscle and tendon to bone in his right shoulder. He suffered a relatively uncommon injury last season, one that might have ended his career had it occurred in another era — like, say, five years ago.

MLB.com's Barry M. Bloom provided a thorough review of the pioneering shoulder procedure earlier this week, complete with moderately icky details from the surgeon himself, Dr. Anthony Romeo. (Sounds like a name from adult film; is actually a licensed orthopedic surgeon). Here's a sample:

After having a crucial tendon and muscle reattached to his right shoulder by a series of stitches and titanium anchors, Jake Peavy is on the path to full recovery, the doctor who conducted the surgery said this week.

[…]

"There are very important nerves that go to the lower arm and hand that, if they were injured, he would not have been able to grip or throw a baseball," Romeo said. "So doing the surgery, we had to be very, very careful."

Once that hurdle was passed, high-density polyester synthetic stitches were used to tie the tendon back to the bone using the anchors.

The entire piece is worth a read, especially if you're the sort of person who enjoys a fine retelling of surgical details. Peavy is the first major league pitcher to undergo the procedure, and it sounds like he's well ahead of the initial recovery estimates. Back in December, the Sox were suggesting that he might be ready to contribute by the end of May. But thanks to Dr. Romeo — that's my new user name in all chat rooms, by the way — it appears that Peavy could see action in April.

Fantasy gamers will note that Peavy is buried in the Yahoo! ranks, at No. 303. Might want to tweak that just a bit before your draft.

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