White Sox notes: Danks encouraged after season debut

White Sox notes: Danks encouraged after season debut
May 25, 2013, 5:45 pm
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John Danks returned to a major league mound Friday night, but doesn't think he'll be his usual self until 2014. Still, he's pleased with how his first start of 2013 went, and is mentally prepared to fight through the rest of the season.

"Doctors have told me that it won’t be until probably a year out of surgery before I feel right again," Danks, who had shoulder surgery on Aug. 6, 2012, said. "And not that I don’t feel good now, but back to normal. So, I kind of knew that going in. Kind of try to fight my way through this year and go out with what I have each night and give us a chance to win. Hopefully next year and beyond I’ll be back to where I was before surgery."

Danks' fastball averaged 89.1 miles per hour Friday night, a full mile per hour slower than in 2012 and two and a half miles per hour slower than in 2011. With less on his fastball, his command has to be pinpoint -- which catcher Hector Gimenez said was the case Friday -- although Danks doesn't think the difference between 2013 and years prior is too great.

"I didn’t feel like there was too much of a drop off last night," Danks said. "I feel like I was able to make the ball do what I wanted and the biggest key for me is throwing where I’m trying to throw it. Limit my mistakes and try to stay around the strike zone best I can."

Flowers misses second straight game

Tyler Flowers was out of the White Sox lineup again Saturday with back spasms, as manager Robin Ventura ordered the first-year starting catcher to rest until his ailment clears up.

"He feels pretty much the same as he did yesterday," Ventura said. "He's still out getting treatment. He says he can catch, but I think doing anything else probably prove a little difficult now. Hopefully it gets better."

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Flowers has four home runs and a .202/.269/.345 slash line this year, although Ventura expects those numbers will pick up at some point.

"We want him to be a catcher first. It's always going to be hard to hit, and that's something that happens to everybody," Ventura explained. "When it doesn't happen with the whole team, you put pressure on yourself, and then when you get off to a slow start you put more pressure to get out of it. It's one of those, you still have confidence that he's going to be able to do it."

Sale still on track

Chris Sale played catch from 100 feet and will throw a bullpen Sunday, and remains confident he'll be ready to go for his scheduled start Tuesday against the Cubs.

"It went real well. It felt a lot better than I actually thought it would be," Sale said. "Everything is on track and be ready to go on Tuesday."

Sox outright Sanchez

Infielder Angel Sanchez was out righted to Triple-A Charlotte after being reinstated from the 15-day disabled list Saturday, meaning utilityman Tyler Greene will stay on the White Sox roster as a backup infielder for the time being.

When Gordon Beckham returns -- he's currently out through Wednesday after experiencing soreness in his hand -- he'll serve as a reserve shortstop if Alexei Ramirez needs a day off, likely with Jeff Keppinger sliding to second base and Conor Gillaspie manning third.

"We like the fact he's a great second baseman," Ventura said of Beckham. "Again, are you going to better with him there at times or somebody else there? It just depends on what we need at that time. I think for him, if his confidence is able to do it, then we're all for it."