White Sox Danks continues to progress

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White Sox Danks continues to progress

How John Danks has recovered thus far has White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper feeling optimistic about the 2012 opening day starters future.

Danks has thrown off the mound three times a week since Jan. 2 and Cooper confirmed the left-hander has rebounded well. Danks is five months removed from surgery to repair a capsule tear and remove debris in the rotator cuff and biceps. Cooper said he and trainer Herm Schneider were set to speak Tuesday night to map out the rest of Danks schedule before the team arrives at spring training.

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Hes coming along well, Cooper said. Hes having normal ups and downs. Thats to be expected. Now hes having more ups than downs.

Schneider confirmed Danks has thrown 40 pitches per session since he began to throw off a mound. Danks, who had surgery on Aug. 6, has been ahead of schedule all along as he earlier began his long-toss program days ahead of the planned Nov. 1 start date.

After he was limited to nine starts in 2012 because of injury, Danks, who signed a five-year, 65-million contract extension in December 2011, wants to rebound. Danks went 3-4 with 5.70 ERA last season.

The White Sox have set no deadline for Danks return but are confident in their process, Cooper said.

You never know, but weve got a pretty good history, Cooper said. Weve got a great trainer. Things seem to be going well.

The White Sox would love if things continued to progress on the same path and they get some semblance of the pitcher who was not only dependable from 2008-10, but highly successful.

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Last season the White Sox were forced to mix and match starting pitchers down the stretch in the absence of Danks, who worked tirelessly to return but didnt pitch in the majors after May. Danks was 40-31 with a 3.61 ERA and averaged nearly 203 innings a season from 2008-10.

Though he cautioned theres work to be done, Cooper said hes positive about where Danks is with less than a month before spring training.

Im walking into it pretty optimistic John will be fine, Cooper said. But theres a process and were far from finished.

Four top prospects among 19 players invited to White Sox big league camp

Four top prospects among 19 players invited to White Sox big league camp

Four of the team's top-10 prospects and a former All-Star are among the 19 nonroster invitees to White Sox big league camp this spring.

The team announced Monday that prospects Michael Kopech, Zack Collins, Zack Burdi and Spencer Adams have all been invited to camp next month. Everth Cabrera, an All-Star in 2013 for the San Diego Padres, Cody Asche, Cory Luebke and Geovany Soto are among the eight minor league free agents who also received an invitation. Pitchers and catchers report to camp in Glendale, Ariz. on Feb. 14 while the team holds its first full-squad workout on Feb. 18.

Kopech was acquired in the Chris Sale trade in December while Collins and Burdi were both selected in the 2016 amateur draft. Adams was drafted in 2014.

Signed earlier this month, Soto is expected to earn a spot on the 25-man roster. Soto, who played for the White Sox in 2015, finished last season with four home runs and an .809 OPS in 86 plate appearances for the Los Angeles Angels.

Cabrera, who produced 4.6 Wins Above Replacement between 2012-13, hasn't played in the majors since he appeared in 29 games for the Baltimore Orioles in 2015. Luebke, who has twice had reconstructive elbow surgery, finished with a 9.35 ERA in nine games for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. Asche blasted 31 homers with a .240/.298/.385 slash line in 1,287 plate appearances since 2013 with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Other minor league free agents include: left-handed pitcher David Holmberg, right-handers Blake Smith and Anthony Swarzak, and catcher Roberto Pena.

White Sox minor leaguer pitchers Aaron Bummer, Brian Clark, Jace Fry and Matt Purke, infielders Nicky Delmonico and Danny Hayes, and outfielder Courtney Hawkins also have been invited to camp.

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