GLENDALE, Ariz. -- John Danks still has progress to make, but his new teammate thinks the White Sox pitcher looks sharp.
Although White Sox hitters knew Danks wanted to work on his cut-fastball in a 50-pitch batting practice Tuesday and what to expect, third baseman Connor Gillaspie said he’s impressed with the left-handed pitcher.
Gillaspie joined the White Sox on Friday and has faced Danks twice in BP. Until he was told, Gillaspie said there are no telltale signs Danks is rehabbing from an Aug. 6 surgery.
“He’s got some really good stuff, really good late movement,” GIllaspie said. “If he’s coming off of arm problems, he’s coming along good it looks like. The ball really, really moves. He looks really sharp.”
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Danks -- who went 3-4 with a 5.70 ERA in nine starts last season -- continues to be pleased with his progress, but knows there’s plenty left to be made. He has reached at the point now where his arm strength is where it should be and he has begun the process of refining his pitches.
“It’s still got a ways to go, but it’s coming,” Danks said. “I feel like I’m getting more behind the ball each time out. I can really start focusing on the pitching side of things rather than thinking about feeling healthy.”
Danks has maintained the same schedule as his pitching teammates and hasn’t had to sit out any activities this spring. He has another tuneup in the bullpen on Friday and then he’ll face the San Francisco Giants on March 4 at home.
“There are hitters here, but those are your teammates,” Danks said. “You’re working on things. They got an idea of what you’re trying to do. You get in a game, I’m going to try to get you out. That will be fun, be fun to see how hitters react to your stuff. It will be kind of milestone in this process to get back in a game.”
Gillaspie insists it doesn’t matter he knew what was coming when Danks threw on Tuesday.
“He keeps the ball down, especially to left-handers,” Gillaspie said. “It’s a good cutter.”