Danks poised to inherit Peavy role

July, 29, 2013
7/29/13
9:52
PM CT
CLEVELAND -- With Jesse Crain now headed to the Tampa Bay Rays and Jake Peavy possibly out the door next, John Danks was left shaking his head Monday.

Danks pitched well against the Cleveland, allowing just two runs and two hits over six innings, but the White Sox still lost 3-2 on Jason Giambi's game-ending home run against reliever Ramon Troncoso. Hurting Danks just as much as the loss was friends being uprooted from the clubhouse.

“Yeah it’s hard to watch,” Danks said. “Jesse and I have become good buddies. Jake and I have a real good relationship. I’d love to keep him but I understand the business and that things have to happen. We’ll see what happens. I haven’t followed (trade rumors) real close. I’d like to keep him here and make a run at it.”

[+] EnlargeJohn Danks
AP Photo/Tony DejakJohn Danks pitched six strong innings Monday, but couldn't get the win.
Danks’ ability to show improvement after shoulder surgery last season is one of the reasons Peavy is expendable for a team that still thinks it can win in short order despite the current roster reshuffle.

If Peavy is traded over the next two days, Danks becomes the veteran presence in the White Sox's rotation of the future, surrounded by kids like Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Hector Santiago.

He showed he is a fast study when it comes to being crafty on the mound. As he continues to gain strength from his surgery a year ago, Danks is learning to be successful with less velocity and improved control.

That control failed him Monday, though, when he walked four batters.

“I had stuff enough to make it deeper in the game,” Danks said. “Command wasn’t where it needed to be. These days happen where you’re not able to throw the ball where you want to. That’s a good team over there, a tough lineup. I was up in the zone and able to get away with it. It’s something I don’t have an explanation for. We’ll work on it the next few days and get ready for Detroit.”

When next season rolls around, Danks knows that nights like Monday will help him. He is learning to be competitive without his old fastball and without the command he would like.

“Yeah, in a perfect world I will get stuff back or better and move along,” Danks said. “But realistically I understand this will be something I have to deal with the rest of my career, which is fine. I’m prepared to do it and each time out I’m prepared to do it a little better. I’m trying to be as smart as possible out there I guess. I’m still holding on to me getting my stuff back and pitching like I did before I got hurt.”

Manager Robin Ventura is equally as confident that Danks will keep improving on into next season. Whether or not he lets people forget about Peavy will be a tall order.

“He’s going to get stronger and better the further he is away from that surgery,” Ventura said. “It’s big for him to kind of have no hesitation of going out there. Nobody is looking at him as you’re just giving him an opportunity. He’s a pitcher and he’s up around 100 pitches every time. You don’t sit there and feel like you have any restrictions on him.”

Doug Padilla

Chicago White Sox beat reporter
Doug joined ESPN Chicago in July 2010 and covers the Chicago White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Alexei Ramirez
BA HR RBI R
.415 3 12 12
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 4
RBIJ. Abreu 14
RA. Eaton 14
OPSA. Ramirez 1.126
WC. Sale 3
ERAJ. Quintana 2.37
SOC. Sale 19