Uncertainty surrounding John Danks


Uncertainty surrounding John Danks

KANSAS CITY -- John Danks is still uncertain when hell next see the mound and admits his season could be in jeopardy.

Even though he hasnt played catch in nearly a week, Danks --- who is on the disabled list retroactive to May 20 with a left shoulder injury --- said Friday he expects to throw again in the near future. But even then he doesnt know what to anticipate.

As the summer creeps further along, Danks realizes its possible he might not pitch again this season.

That idea and the quest to fill his time has Danks, who signed a five-year, 65-million extension in December, going stir crazy.

Im losing my mind, Danks said. I guess us playing well, at least theres something to look forward to when you come to the ballpark every day. For me personally, it has been long and boring. Im losing my mind. I really am. I want to be out there. Im not enjoying this, but it is what it is. Its part of the game and I have to deal with it.

The team had hoped Danks would return to the rotation by mid-to-late July. Danks said on Friday, however, hes not to the point where hes ready to go out and push it yet. He also has no rehab assignment yet on the schedule.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura reiterated the team would love to have Danks back, but will plan accordingly.

Right now the way I look at it, I hope hes coming back, but you have to prepare for the worst, Ventura said. And keep going. Im hoping Im wrong.

White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said on WSCR-670 AM on Thursday Danks isnt currently on his radar because theres no timetable for the left-handers return.

Danks said he couldnt disagree with the statement because of his health.

Thats where we are at right now, Danks said. We dont know. We all expected to be back well before today. So it is what it is. We are doing everything we know to do to get back. Its just we are at the mercy of my shoulder like weve been saying this whole time.

Danks is 3-4 with a 5.70 ERA in nine starts this season. His healthy return would seriously bolster the White Sox chances of making the postseason. If Danks is unable to return, the White Sox may need to add a starting pitcher before the trade deadline because its rotation features two first-year starters (Jose Quintana and Chris Sale) and Jake Peavy, who has battled shoulder issues the past two seasons.

It is progressing, Danks said. Everything looks like its healing the way we want it to, just not as quick as we wanted it to or thought it would. We have to deal with it.

White Sox Talk Podcast: How Sox fans are dealing with Cubs success


White Sox Talk Podcast: How Sox fans are dealing with Cubs success

In our next installment of the White Sox Talk Podcast, Chuck Garfien is joined by Chris Kamka and Slavko Bekovic to discuss how White Sox fans are dealing with success on the North Side.

Later, White Sox fan and CSN producer Ryan McGuffey talks about his experience producing Cubs content. Finally, Cubs fan Nate Poppen shares his thoughts on Frank Kaminsky wearing a Steve Bartman jersey to the United Center before a Bulls-Hornets preseason game.

Check out the latest edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast here:

White Sox coaching staff will rely more heavily on statistics

White Sox coaching staff will rely more heavily on statistics

Statistical analysis will weigh more heavily on the White Sox coaching staff’s daily decisions after Joe McEwing was elevated to Rick Renteria’s bench coach on Friday.

McEwing -- whose influence led to a 957 percent increase in defensive shifts utilized from 2013-16 -- replaces Renteria, who was named the team’s new manager on Oct. 3 after Robin Ventura announced he wouldn’t return.

Former player development director Nick Capra replaces McEwing as third-base coach while Curt Hasler was promoted from minor-league pitching coordinator to replace bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen.

McEwing’s promotion is another sign the franchise will stress the use of statistical analysis when constructing its lineup, etc., a move Ventura suggested was in progress when he said the White Sox needed a new voice. Renteria likes how he worked with McEwing last season and suggested analysis would have a big impact on their day-to-day operations.

“All the information that is provided to us plays an important part in how we move forward,” Renteria said. “We look at outcomes, which are the statistical analysis aspects. But then we are also trying to stay ahead of the curve. We do a lot of video work, trying to see if guys are changing their approaches. In terms of the shifts, we did incorporate shifts, but we also did some modifications as was to be expected when you see guys changing approaches with two strikes and things of that nature or runners in scoring position -- all those different aspects that come into play.”

Similar to many organizations, the White Sox have drastically modified how they align themselves defensively over the past four seasons under McEwing and general manager Rick Hahn. According to FanGraphs, the White Sox went from being ranked 27th in shifts implemented in 2013 to ninth by 2014 with an increase from 102 to 588. The White Sox shifted 1,079 times last season and McEwing has been instrumental in that transformation, several team sources said. It’s reasonable to expect analysis will be used more often in lineup construction and game strategy under Renteria, too. He didn’t shy away from the use of statistical analysis when he managed on the other side of town in 2014, Cubs third-base coach Gary Jones said last week.

“It’s part of our daily preparation,” Jones said. “Rick is good with it as we are right now. It was definitely a part of the equation, no doubt.”

[RELATED: White Sox announce coaching staff changes] 

Renteria cited familiarity when asked why he didn’t go outside of the organization for coaching staff hires. McEwing has long been held in high regard within the franchise and interviewed for managerial openings in Houston and Texas in 2014. Renteria suggested McEwing’s work ethic -- and how he works -- had a big impact on his promotion.

“Having sat side by side (with McEwing) going over a lot of game reviews and studying the opposition and setting up defense, I got to know him quite well,” Renteria said. “He’s a hard worker. He’s in there early looking for anything that will give us an edge. His managing experience and coaching experience also allows him an opportunity to be able to serve me well.

“It’s a good fit. We both are kind of high energy. Joey might be a little higher energy than me and I didn’t think that was possible. He brings a lot to the table.”

The White Sox announced the rest of its staff -- first-base coach Daryl Boston, pitching coach Don Cooper, hitting coach Todd Steverson, assistant hitting coach Greg Sparks and bullpen catcher Mark Salas -- would return in 2017.