Danks champing at bit to join White Sox rotation
CHICAGO -- There's still no word on whether starter John Danks will return to the rotation later this week. The 28-year-old met with manager Robin Ventura and general manager Rick Hahn before Monday night's game and tried to plead his case for a speedy return.
Danks threw a bullpen session on Tuesday and said he felt no discomfort in his shoulder.
"I'd throw tonight if they'd let me. I don't make those decisions," Danks said. "The plan all along was to throw a side and see how it goes and go from there."
Danks has been building arm strength for the early part of the season as a part of his recovery from season-ending arthroscopic surgery, which cut his 2012 campaign short in May. Danks hoped the process would move quickly and he could open the season with the Major League club, but it became clear his velocity hadn't returned in Spring Training.
"It's been a long process," Danks said. "Hopefully it ends this weekend. Not being able to pitch, you want to do it. That's tough. Once I got out of Arizona and realized there was a timetable, it got a lot easier, and here we are, hoping for good news."
Hahn and Ventura have tabled the news until after Wednesday's game, when they said an announcement would be made about the next step in Danks' recovery. Ventura said he liked what he saw from Danks' bullpen session Tuesday and didn't notice any pain during the session.
"I feel like I'm close to getting where my stuff was before I got hurt, so stuff-wise there won't be too much of a drop-off," Danks said. "My biggest thing is throwing the ball where I want to and making it do what I want it to do."
Danks threw 95 pitches in his fourth rehab start with Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday, allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out five and gave up four walks, but Hahn viewed the start positively. He said the team doesn't put much stock into the results of rehab starts and views them as a way for injured players to work on various elements of their game.
Ace Chris Sale, who was scratched from Wednesday's start, said the clubhouse is ready for Danks' return. Sale empathized with the long road that the veteran has traveled to return from the surgery and said it's made him realize an appreciation for his own health.
"You do something every day for your entire life and someone tells you that you can't do it anymore, it's tough. Whether it's riding a bike, pitching, talking, seeing," Sale said. "I can't wait [for Danks to return]. It's going to be awesome. Whenever it might be, I'll be there front and center. It will be a great day, regardless of the results and what happens."
Beckham practicing between second and short
CHICAGO -- Those following Gordon Beckham's rehab start with Triple-A Charlotte on Monday might have done a double take at the starting lineup. The second baseman, who's recovering from a fractured hamate bone, slid over to the left side of the infield and played shortstop for the Knights.
On Tuesday, manager Robin Ventura debunked any rumors that Beckham could be making a long-term switch, but he left the door open for some spot starts at the position if starting shortstop Alexei Ramirez needs a day off in the coming weeks. So far this season, Ramirez has yet to take a day off. He's started every one of Chicago's 44 games at shortstop. Beckham worked out at shortstop during Spring Training, but he never played the position in a Cactus League game.
"[Ramirez] wants to play every day, but you do have to have a fallback, because there are so many spots on the roster," Ventura said. "How we make those moves and who's going to be that guy, you don't know until Gordon's ready to come back and then you go from there."
As of Tuesday, Ventura said Beckham isn't close to returning. Charlotte has an off-day on Wednesday and the White Sox will reevaluate their second baseman after he receives some rest. Beckham is batting .462 (6-for-13) with two RBIs and four runs scored over three rehab starts.
"It's just options of when everybody starts getting healthy, you can only fit so many people in certain sports," Ventura said. "Alexei's the shortstop, but in case you need somebody there, is [Beckham] able to do that? That's more of a reason to have him do it. I want him to play second base here, but for one game, or if something happens, before you could get somebody up here, would he be able to do it?"
Beckham has started at second base, third base and designated hitter in his five seasons in the Majors.
Big Hurt to represent Sox at Draft
CHICAGO -- Five-time All-Star and two-time American League MVP Frank Thomas will represent the White Sox at the First-Year Player Draft on June 6. Thomas will join two other MVPs, three World Series-winning managers and another 24 All-Stars as representatives for baseball's 30 teams.
White Sox manager of youth baseball initiatives Kevin Coe will join Thomas in Secaucus, N.J., where the first and second of 40 rounds will be held and broadcast live on MLB Network at 5 p.m. CT. Coe runs the White Sox amateur city elite, a travelling baseball team comprised of students from Chicago Public League High Schools.
Coverage will also include the new competitive balance rounds. As a part of the 2012-16 Basic Agreement between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association, clubs with the lowest revenues and in the smallest markets are entered into a lottery for additional picks in the competitive balance rounds.
First to third
• With a win on Tuesday, the White Sox can win their first home series since they played the Mariners between April 5-7.
• Fifteen of the White Sox last 18 games entering Tuesday were decided by three runs or fewer.
• Chicago is 3-8 in its last 11 games against Boston after winning 10 of its last 11 to the Red Sox, dating back to 2010.
Ethan Asofsky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.