Big test on deck for John Danks in start against Reds
BY DARYL VAN SCHOuWEN firstname.lastname@example.org March 18, 2013 11:11PM
GLENDALE, Ariz. — John Danks will pitch Tuesday in Goodyear against the Reds. It will be an important outing for the White Sox left-hander in his return from shoulder surgery as he aims to make the Opening Day roster.
Danks’ velocity needs to climb into the low 90s over his last three outings of the preseason, and he needs to be able to finish six innings before the season starts.
Sox catcher Tyler Flowers said he saw progress from Danks in each of his starts. But he got knocked around in his second and third outings.
“I can’t get away with quite as much as I was able to before surgery,’’ Danks said. ‘‘But maybe it’s good for me in the long run, learn how to pitch a little bit.’’
On the plus side, Danks said his shoulder feels good. He had surgery in August.
Aches and pains
With Flowers (stiff back), Jeff Keppinger (right shoulder irritation) and Jesse Crain (groin), the Sox have three significant players on the mend. Manager Robin Ventura isn’t overly concerned about any of them and says the Sox are playing it safe by not rushing them. In Keppinger’s and Crain’s case, they also have to get working to be ready by Opening Day.
“Every day it’s something else with somebody, but the idea is to have them healthy when we’re in Chicago,’’ Ventura said.
No rest for Peavy
The Sox enjoyed an off day Monday, but Jake Peavy pitched in a minor league game, throwing 97 pitches over six innings. Peavy did not allow a walk. Said pitching coach Don Cooper: “It was a great workout for Jake and we got a lot of work in. He worked on all his pitches and his fastball was really good.’’
Peavy will face the Dodgers on March 23.