BOSTON -- Jake Peavy will be pitching for a first-place team Saturday night at Fenway Park in a game involving the White Sox.
If that scenario was presented to the right-hander before the 2013 season began, he would have guessed that this particular game was important to help the South Siders hold off Detroit or Cleveland in the American League Central. Instead, the White Sox are out of contention and Peavy is pitching for the top team in the AL East after being traded to Boston as part of a three-team deal on July 30.
Peavy is more than happy where he's at presently, but he's still left to think about what might have been for the White Sox if the team's miserable start had changed even just a little.
"We all, man for man, tried to own that. We just didn't play the way we were capable of playing," said Peavy, speaking to the media in his red Boston jersey. "Those first 30 or 40 games, we lost so many one-run games that very easily, we could have done a few small things that would have flipped 10 or 15 games in our direction. And that probably would have got us to a different start, and I can't see myself if that would have happened wearing this uniform.
"That's awfully unfortunate, but it is what it is. I'm happy to see those guys when they're not playing us playing well and the way we all knew they were capable of playing."
Even with the loss of "a bona fide ace" as Peavy was described Friday by John Danks, who starts against his friend Saturday, the White Sox have a solid young pitching core. It's that talented group of pitchers that presents hope for the White Sox avoiding a full rebuild, moving more in the reshaping direction under general manager Rick Hahn.
"John Danks is back to back to John Danks. Hector [Santiago] going tonight. [Andre] Rienzo has showed what he's capable of. You've got Chris Sale who is as good as anybody in the game at the top," Peavy said. "You've got some big arms in the back of the bullpen. You acquired some good position players, and obviously Paulie [Konerko] and Adam [Dunn] are getting older but [chairman Jerry Reinsdorf's] always got money. That team's going be right in the thick of things. I can't see a long rebuilding process there. That team is not far away."
Ventura waiting for September to talk callups
BOSTON -- Manager Robin Ventura knows how many players the White Sox will be calling up from the Minors when rosters expand on Sunday. Until then, Ventura will keep that information on a need-to-know basis.
"There will probably be a couple here and a couple more in New York," Ventura said. "I know the number, but we're making sure that they know before everybody else knows."
Three spots remain open on the White Sox 40-man roster, and another could be created if Brian Omogrosso is moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list. Right-hander starter Erik Johnson, who is ranked the organization's No. 2 prospect by MLB.com and is a strong candidate for the 2014 rotation, almost certainly will be added, and the same near-certainty holds true for right-handed reliever Daniel Webb, who is ranked the club's 17th best prospect.
Charlie Leesman, whose future with the White Sox is as a left-handed reliever, figures to get a call despite being assigned to the Arizona Fall League. The White Sox will bring up a third catcher, with Bryan Anderson the favorite for that selection. Outfielder Blake Tekotte, who is already on the 40-man roster, could return to the big leagues.
Infielder Marcus Semien, who put himself into the 2014 White Sox infield picture with 106 runs scored and a .278 average between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte this season, was viewed as a solid bet to get a big league call. But with the team's eighth-ranked prospect also going to the AFL, that plan might have changed.
Phegley knows the value of a power source
BOSTON -- After knocking out 15 homers and 18 doubles during his 231 at-bats for Triple-A Charlotte, Josh Phegley has followed with five doubles and four homers over 136 at-bats with the White Sox.
Phegley doesn't consider himself a power hitter as much as a hitter with extra-base power. But in his situation, Phegley knows the power source can be valuable.
"Being a catcher, it doesn't do anybody any good to have me on first base. It's going to take a couple of hits to score me anyways," said Phegley with a laugh. "I've always felt myself being a gap-to-gap doubles guy, and I've hit the ball on the line and with some authority. If it gets up in the air a little bit, it has the ability to carry out of the ballpark.
"My job is to hit the ball hard in the gaps from left-center to right- center. I don't want to get too pull happy and just stay the middle of the field."
At this early stage of his career, with a starting role potentially ahead of him in 2014, Phegley isn't really trying to figure out what sort of hitter he is as much as just improving his craft.
"You just work on your swing and what you need to do, and it kind of shows itself to you," Phegley said. "If you got a lot of juice, they want you to hit the ball in the air. If you got speed, then you are going to try to put the ball in play on the ground.
"But I don't have much of either. So I'm just going to drive the ball in the gaps and keep it out of the air, but try to hit something to gaps and the outfield."
Coach Parent reacts to son's PED suspension
BOSTON -- Mark Parent used the phrase "a little disappointing" to describe the 50-game suspension of his son, Nick, for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The son of the White Sox bench coach was playing at rookie-level Bristol and being converted to a catcher, so he was trying to lose a little weight, according to Parent's comments made Friday at Fenway Park. Although Parent said that his son was unsure what exactly it was he took, the positive test showed metabolites of Stanozolol.
"He was trying to lose weight and took the wrong stuff, I guess," said Parent of his son, who was 8-for-70 with Bristol after being taken in the 36th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. "But you have to be a little bit more intelligent about those kinds of things."
Regardless of the reason leading to the suspension, the ultimate outcome for the younger Parent is dealing with 50 games away from baseball.
"It just goes to show you, no matter who you are, you break the rules, you break the rules," Parent said. "He's got to be his own man. He has to suffer his own consequences. I'll give him all the advice I can in the offseason to help him get further in his career. The bottom line is he has to sit out after tonight 48 more games. That's not good.
"Take care of your own stuff. Take care of your own business. He made a mistake and he's going to pay for it."
Third to first
• Entering Friday's contest at Fenway Park, the White Sox had won 10 of their last 12 and had a 16-7 record in the last 23. This success came after trades of veterans Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain.
"I have no explanation for it. I really don't," Danks said. "Those are good players and there's a reason why other teams wanted them. We are just playing better baseball."
• Chris Curley has been named Carolina League Most Valuable Player. The infielder for Class A Winston-Salem leads the Carolina League with 24 homers, 90 RBIs, 90 runs scored and 249 total bases. He is the third consecutive Dash player to win this honor, following Dan Black (2012) and Ian Gac (2011).
• Black and Semien were selected to the Southern League postseason All-Star team. Semien was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte in early August, while Black has 17 homers and 80 RBIs for the Barons. Micah Johnson, who leads the Minors with 83 stolen bases, was named the second baseman on the South Atlantic League postseason All-Star team. He has since been promoted from Class A Kannapolis to Winston-Salem to presently Double-A Birmingham.
• The White Sox bullpen has a 3.05 ERA in the season's second half, including a 1.91 ERA over the last 17 games and 47 innings entering Friday's series opener.