The extra week on the schedule this spring should benefit both Jeff Keppinger and John Danks, general manager Rick Hahn said Tuesday.
Both the White Sox pitcher and third baseman are trying to bounce back from long-term injuries. Major League Baseball added a week to the schedule this spring so teams who lend their players out to participate in the World Baseball Classic wont be affected.
Danks rehab after shoulder surgery last August has him potentially on track for opening day and the same goes for Keppinger, who broke his fibula during the offseason.
A lot of us in the game lament the extra week of spring training that comes with the WBC but Kepp will probably be a beneficiary of that extra week, Hahn said. He should be ready at the start of camp when we get there next month. If hes not, if he needs an extra week or 10 days, we have the luxury of extra time. But theres no reason to believe he shouldnt be ready opening day.
Hahn has the same belief about Danks, who has hit every benchmark the White Sox staff has set for him. Danks has been throwing off a mound three times a week for three weeks.
We are optimistic and dont have any reason to believe at this point (Danks) wont be ready come opening day, Hahn said.
Five members of the White Sox organization were on provisional rosters for the World Baseball Classic when they were announced last week. Reliever Jesse Crain plans to play for Canada while Hector Santiago has informed the club he isnt certain whether or not hell pitch for Puerto Rico. Outfielder Alex Rios has told the club he will play for Puerto Rico. Infielder Andy Gonzalez, who played for the White Sox in 2007, is also on Puerto Ricos roster while pitching prospect Andre Rienzo is on Brazils roster.