Jake Peavy hopes to be ready for Opening Day

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Jake Peavy hasn’t resumed throwing yet following July shoulder surgery, but told Scott Merkin of MLB.com that he plans to play some “easy catch” for the first time next month with an eye toward throwing at full strength at some point in December.

His goal is to “not be behind at all when camp starts” next spring, but that’s far from a sure thing:

My goal is to be there and be there from the get-go and pull my weight, and we’ll work as hard as we can to make that a reality. Once the time is right, I believe I will be there. If I do have to miss a start or two at the beginning and can’t start the season with the boys, I can’t believe I would be much behind.

Peavy is owed $16 million in 2011 and $17 million in 2012, with a $22 million option or $4 million buyout for 2013. He posted a 4.16 ERA in 20 starts for the White Sox prior to being shut down with shoulder problems, and the move from the NL and pitcher-friendly Petco Park to the AL and hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field made him a relative question mark even before the injury.

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.