John Danks struggles again in spring start
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org March 11, 2012 11:08PM
Updated: April 13, 2012 10:35AM
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — John Danks masked the annoyance over his second consecutive start tainted by wildness.
“There are some positives in this one,’’ the top choice to be the White Sox’ Opening Day starter said after he walked four Rockies, hit another, threw a wild pitch and gave up three runs (one earned) in three innings Sunday. “I’m not beating myself up like I did last time. I feel good, made some good pitches and have to keep working.’’
“Last time” was Danks’ first start in which he walked three Angels, hit one and gave up three runs and four hits in two innings. That’s seven walks in five innings.
Danks showed his frustration when he walked into the dugout after his last inning. Instead of the friendly ball flip to a fan, he zinged one into the first row with something on it. Not at a dangerous level, but one fan covered up.
“No, just missed a kid,’’ Danks said. “It’s frustrating. We’re all competitive, but in the grand scheme of things, I know where we need to be. Full confidence I’ll get there by the time the season starts.’’
Ohman adds on
Left-handed relief specialist Will Ohman, who has made a career with his fastball and slider, is throwing a changeup that he and pitching coach Don Cooper are excited about.
It gives Ohman a pitch to get right-handed hitters out, which could extend his outings from one or two hitters to a full inning or more.
“I feel comfortable with it,’’ Ohman said. “It gives me a chance to get out there for longer periods of time instead of only going for one lefty or two guys. I can get the right-hander out, too. And I can use it against lefties, as well.’’
The ball comes out of Ohman’s hand naturally for a slider. Not so with the change, so he has been searching for a grip that suits his arm slot.
“To get that movement going the other way across the plate was difficult,’’ Ohman said, “especially throwing for short, truncated periods of time. That’s not something you can go out and work on in games.’’
Right-hander Gregory Infante left with a strained left oblique.
A high-velocity pitcher with command issues, Infante was thought to be in the mix for an open bullpen job, though not a top candidate. He’ll be sidelined indefinitely.
◆ Paul Konerko, who fouled a pitch off his left knee Saturday, participated in drills and will be in the lineup Monday against the Athletics.