The Chicago White Sox have not seen their $56 million man John Danks take the bump since May 19, 2012. But after a long, grueling rehab, Danks was finally ready to return to US Cellular Field and take on the Miami Marlins.
Considering Danks has been facing minor league lineups for the past few weeks, the Marlins were the perfect team to face in his return, since their whole lineup is full of replacement level players. Nevertheless, White Sox fans– and probably Danks — were very anxious to see how the left-hander would pitch in his first game in over a year. If I were to sum up Danks’ start in one word, I would have to go with satisfactory.
Danks pitched into the 7th inning Friday night, earning a no decision in Chicago’s 4-3 win over the Fish. His final line of six+ IP, three ER, zero BB and five Ks had to please every White Sox fan watching, especially the no walks part of that stat line. Danks’ control has been his main issue while rehabbing, and was always an issue when he did have his struggles on the Southside.
Outside of his pitching line, just watching Danks work his pitches was very promising. His changegup — which is his key pitch — was very sharp, and he really didn’t make a whole lot of mistakes. The only bad part about Danks’ performance was the two-run home run he allowed to a left-handed hitter, but you cannot expect him to be perfect.
Fans have the right to be optimistic about a rotation with John Danks, but everyone has to remember that he was pitching against the worst offensive team in baseball. Nevertheless, this start was definitely a step in the right direction for Danks and the White Sox. Hopefully, it’s a sign that good things are coming for the Palehose.