Danks aiming to return to Sox in May

Danks aiming to return to Sox in May
May 12, 2013, 6:15 pm
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John Danks made his third minor league rehab start Sunday with Triple-A Charlotte, throwing 101 pitches over six innings and allowing three runs, seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

After his start, Danks said he needs at least one more rehab start before he could be considered ready to pitch in the majors. He'll start on May 18, and then hopes his next outing will come with the White Sox.

"I haven’t heard anything specifically. I don’t think I need too much more," Danks said. "I’m hoping I have another good one in the next one. I’m certain me and Rick (Hahn, general manager) will be in touch and talk about that. Not very far off."

Danks didn't ask about what his velocity was on Sunday, but estimated it was between 87-91 miles per hour on his fastball. While he doesn't sound like someone expecting to have the ability to throw upwards of 91 anymore, he's not worried about struggling to adapt to an upper-80's fastball.

"I have to be able to play off change so it’s a big part, but I think can be just as effective at 88 than I would be at 93," Danks said. "I’m throwing the ball where I want to throw it rather than putting a lot behind the ball."

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Three months ago, Danks' goal was to return for the start of the regular season. The left-hander, who will earn $14.25 million per year through 2016, got knocked around in spring training, when it became clear he wouldn't be ready for Opening Day.

Danks, though, feels he'll be ready to go soon.

"It just didn’t happen and we were at the mercy of my shoulder," Danks said. "We’ve cleared this hump and I’m focused on pitching right now as opposed to actual physical stuff. I’m on the right track. If It takes one more, perfect. If I need another one, I know I won’t need much more."

Dunn sits, Konerko sees the field

An 0-4 game with three strikeouts Saturday dropped Adam Dunn to a .137/.235/.308 slash line with a 34.1 percent strikeout rate, numbers that don't even measure up to his dismal 2011 season. With the Angels starting left-hander C.J. Wilson Sunday night, the timing was ideal for manager Robin Ventura to give Dunn a night off.

"A lot of the guys, you get to a point where everybody wants to do a lot more than they need to do instead of making it simple," Ventura said. "It's just one of those, you give him a day to not have to think about that."

Casper Wells earned a start in place of Dunn, playing left field with Dayan Viciedo sliding to DH. That means Paul Konerko, who's DH'd in half of his 32 games played this season, started at first base.

Ventura's been cautious with deploying Konerko in the field, although the manager said there's nothing physically wrong with the longtime White Sox captain.

"It's not like he's 55, but he is a little bit older than the average player," Ventura said. "I'm just trying to take care of him in certain situations. He still needs to get out there and move around. I think it's good for him as far as just the baseball stuff that happens that he's still out there."

Not much to Sox team meeting

Ventura called a team meeting before Saturday's game, with the manager saying some things "that needed to be said." It was just him talking, but that's where the details ended of what was said.

The second-year skipper hopes it's the last time he'll have to address his team in that manner this season.

"I don't like them. I just think teams that scuffle have meetings a lot," Ventura said. "So I don't want to have too many meetings. Teams that win don't seem to have that many meetings because they don't need to. I would rather that be the last one of the year."