Jordan Danks isn’t back in the big leagues under the best circumstances, but he’s back nonetheless. And that means he’s going to try to make the most of it.
Danks was called up Thursday to replace Avisail Garcia, who was ruled out for the season with a torn labrum in his shoulder. Some might have considered Danks, who missed out on a spot on the Opening Day roster, a snub following his excellent spring training.
“Any time you can be here, it’s a good thing,” Danks said. “Obviously, what happened, nobody wants that. But now that I’m here, just trying to do my best, whatever role that might be. And we’ll see what happens.”
If Danks can continue his spring training success, that would be great news for the White Sox. The 27-year-old batted .333 in 20 spring games with a 1.116 OPS, five home runs, two doubles and 10 RBIs. Throw in his usual good defense in multiple outfield spots, and he could be quite the stopgap with Garcia out of the lineup.
“The confidence is still there,” Danks said. “I’m feeling pretty good at the plate right now, so just hoping to continue that, get off to a good start down here and we’ll see what happens.”
The problem might be that no one can really serve as a stopgap to what it was hoped Garcia could bring. And the surprising, early-season fashion in which Garcia went down is still troubling to many in the clubhouse.
“I don’t know if you ever lessen the blow. Avi is a special talent,” manager Robin Ventura said. “When guys come up here, you just want them to play and do well, and that’s definitely what we want Jordan to do is be himself and play. He’s a different type of player than Avi is, but he can be very productive.”
Danks is obviously as bummed as everyone else over the injury to a player who figured to be a big part of a South Side turnaround. But he’s hoping he can step in and plug the hole created by the end to Garcia’s season.
“I would imagine everybody’s a little torn up about it. From what I’ve heard, he was starting to get into a groove. So it’s not what you want, really,” Danks said. “Just hoping to fill that void, whatever that might be, and concentrate on getting off to a good start.
“Always you’re going out there trying to play hard, and any time you get an opportunity, you’re going out there and playing hard. That’s pretty much all you can do, so that’s the goal, that’s the plan.”