CHICAGO -- General manager Ken Williams isn't one to give out grades to the people working with him, especially with a little less than two-thirds of the season remaining. But one look at the White Sox sitting atop the American League Central makes it easy to give manager Robin Ventura an A.
"It's pretty obvious we're in position to compete for a division championship," Williams said. "It's a stability that we needed. He was the right guy at the right time, and I think his coaching staff is a complement to him and gives our players the best chance to just be who they are. You see a lot of guys who are just comfortable in that clubhouse and who are motivated in that clubhouse to achieve for themselves but for this staff as well."
Williams quickly pointed out that the catcher and manager are the most second-guessed people on the field. He then added that Sunday marked the first time Williams had a "little mini-discussion" in regards to the thought process in a certain game situation. Williams didn't elaborate, but the discussion figured to center on Ventura removing Jose Quintana at just 77 pitches and after eight scoreless innings thrown against the Dodgers to go to closer Addison Reed.
Reed had not blown a save in eight previous opportunities before giving up one run in the ninth during a game the White Sox would lose, 2-1, in 10 innings.
"He always has good answers, though, when we discuss the happenings of the day," said Williams of Ventura.
"You had yourself in a position to win it, it just didn't happen," said Ventura of Sunday. "I trust Addy going in the ninth inning. It's going to happen again and he's going to go back out there. Nobody's ever been 100 percent being a closer. I still have confidence in him doing that. It just happens, and they're a good team. It just shows you have to get the last out to win those games."
Danks has muscle tear in left shoulder
CHICAGO -- Monday's 12-3 loss to the Cubs was tough enough for the White Sox to digest, but the postgame news on John Danks' health probably was tougher than the defeat.
Danks told the media that he had been diagnosed with a Grade 1 subscapularis muscle tear in his left shoulder, a conclusion reached after he underwent a pair of MRIs on Monday, including one where dye was injected into his left shoulder. The southpaw also was examined by team physician Dr. Gregory Nicholson.
After finding out the diagnosis, Danks said that he was assured by Dr. Nicholson surgery wouldn't be necessary.
"That was my first question because when you hear the word tear, it's kind of scary," Danks said. "I don't think it's anything super major. I went out and pitched last week and felt fine, stuff was great. It's just having trouble bouncing back and this is the reason. We'll stay on top of it and get back as soon as possible."
This latest problem for Danks arose two days following a four-inning Minor League injury rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte last Tuesday. Danks, who has been on the disabled list since May 25 (retroactive to May 20), felt soreness that was more than normal while playing catch on Thursday.
Prior to Monday's defeat, general manager Ken Williams said that he originally was "really worried" when Danks said he still wasn't quite right. But as Danks felt better, Williams viewed it as general soreness somewhat akin to what a pitcher experiences during Spring Training.
Now, Danks has no real plan for moving forward with a greater understanding of the malady.
"I don't know any schedule at this point or anything," said Danks, whose last big league start was on May 19 at Wrigley Field. "It's frustrating because it feels good one day and then it feels like [garbage] the next day. But at the same time, it's good to actually know what we're dealing with now.
"We had to do the MRI with the dye today to determine that. Just the regular pictures from my first MRI to today looked pretty darn close to the same. It's not anything worse. It's just going to take a little longer I think than we first anticipated."
Williams continues to evaluate upgrades
CHICAGO -- With the eventual return of a healthy John Danks to the starting rotation and potentially Brent Morel at third base, the White Sox could make significant additions before the July 31 non-waiver Trade deadline without ever making a deal.
That fact won't stop Ken Williams from continuing to look for ways to upgrade his American League Central leaders, as the White Sox general manager confirmed during a Monday afternoon talk with the media.
"You always hope your guys are healthy, because that gives you the greatest opportunity to put the best team on the field," Williams said. "No matter if they were here or not, we're still going to look at potential places where we can improve the club.
"You've got to be careful with that, because once guys start to believe in themselves as a unit ... You've got to be careful not to disrupt that chemistry. Right now, it's pretty good."
So, how does Williams decide if the fit and talent match the White Sox needs, as he did when bringing in Orlando Hudson to play third base, for example? It takes days of discussion to arrive at the decision.
"Collectively, you just try to come to the best conclusion you can," Williams said. "That's when I rely to a large degree on our coaching staff.
"I'm in the stands or I'm in a booth. What do they see in each guy's eyes? What do they feel from that player? Is there a positive energy? Is there any defeat in them? Can they weather the August and September battles they're going to have to go through and continue to contribute?"
When asked if there were restrictions on potential moves partially due to low ticket sales and overall attendance, Williams simply said, "Yes."
"I don't want to expound, because then I get buried because I'm crying about money and things," Williams said. "I don't want to do that, but sure it is."
Quintana showing he can handle big league role
CHICAGO -- Even with Jose Quintana's 1.53 ERA produced over 35 1/3 innings pitched, the rookie left-hander hasn't officially secured a rotation spot when John Danks returns healthy. But Quintana has made it easier for the White Sox to take their time with Danks' ongoing recovery from a left shoulder strain.
"We don't want to rush [Danks] back and try to push him in there before he's ready," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "That's the cushion and the convenience of having a guy pitching as well as 'Q'."
Quintana's success appears to be sustainable, especially with his success coming against frontline teams like the Indians, Rays, Cardinals, Blue Jays and Dodgers.
"Maybe you could still guess about it if he hadn't pitched against some of the teams he has," White Sox general manager Ken Williams said. "But he's been on the stage, and he's had to produce, and he's come through. We're going to try to grind it out, and the best man wins. That's what competition's all about."
Third to first
The White Sox have agreed to terms with each of their 11 selections in the first 10 rounds of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft and 28 of their 41 picks. The White Sox agreed to terms Monday with top pick Courtney Hawkins, as well as sixth-rounder Kyle Hansen (RHP) and seventh-rounder Jose Barraza (catcher).
Kosuke Fukudome finished 1-for-2 Monday in the start of his injury-rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte. He was placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 4 with a strained right oblique. Paul Konerko's 57 career Interleague homers trail only Jim Thome's 63.
Class A Winston-Salem outfielder Brady Shoemaker was named Carolina League Batter of the Week for June 11-17 after hitting .526 with a league-leading 13 RBIs. Shoemaker leads the Carolina League with 53 RBIs and ranks second with his .346 average.
NBA legend Scottie Pippen, who was an integral part of six Chicago Bulls championships, threw out one of Monday's ceremonial first pitches to Chris Sale.