Jake Peavy optimistic about health

Updated: March 6, 2012, 1:41 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Jake Peavy is happy to be healthy for the first time in a Chicago White Sox spring training and believes he has a chance to regain his Cy Young form.

Since being acquired from the San Diego Padres in 2009, Peavy has been slowed by numerous injuries limiting him to just 51 starts the past three seasons.

"Some people call me damaged goods, but I'm as healthy as these damaged goods can be if that's the way you want to refer to it," Peavy said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I really have a lot of optimism and see signs that I should be as good as I once was. I'm going to do everything physically to stay in that shape."

The White Sox shut down Peavy when the team was mathematically eliminated from the playoffs last season. It capped a trying year for the 30-year-old pitcher, who was struggling to get to full strength with his surgically-repaired latissimus dorsi muscle after offseason back surgery. He also was dealing with a reoccurring groin issue and had received a cortisone shot in the second half to deal with discomfort behind his right shoulder.

Peavy, who won the NL Cy Young award with the Padres in 2007, finished the season with a 7-7 record and a 4.92 ERA over 19 outings, including 18 starts.

Peavy points to that one relief appearance as the beginning of the end last season. He pitched four innings of relief of John Danks, who left the June 25 game against the Washington Nationals with an injury, and Peavy was never the same after that.

"I can't say that I regret it," Peavy said of the relief appearance. "We got a great team win at that point in time. It was something that I volunteered to do. It needed to happen. We had just played an extra inning game and our guys were dying and Johnny had to bow out of that game early with an injury. I can't look back, and I don't regret a whole lot of anything. I just wished that my body had somehow found a way to bounce back."

With the loss of staff ace Mark Buehrle, who signed with the Miami Marlins as a free agent, the White Sox could use a return to form for Peavy, who will make $16 million this season.

"I'm 30 years old, and I understand that I have been through a lot," Peavy said. "... The biggest thing I've got to do is go out there and be healthy. If I'm healthy and make my starts, numbers are going to take care of themselves, and I'm going to help this team win. I'm going to play baseball until my uniform is ripped off me. Damaged goods or not, I'm going to be part of a good team and I'm going to pull my weight."