After striking out for the third time on Thursday afternoon, a defeated Jordan Danks slowly walked back to the Chicago White Sox dugout. A look of frustration came across his face as he received sympathetic pats on the back. Danks has struggled since receiving regular starts after Adam Eaton went down with an injury. Since then, the outfielder has gone 2-for-25 with 12 strikeouts. Danks has appeared lost at the plate, unable to catch up to fastballs that barely reach the low 90s and off speed pitches baffle him.
With the increase in playing time, there have been a decrease in faith in Danks. Known as a defensive replacement for the majority of his career, management believed that giving Danks ample playing time would tell them what his ceiling could be. Due to his recent struggles while receiving regular at bats, it is clear that Danks is not an everyday player.
Whether it be in the nine hole or the leadoff spot, where Danks has played three out of the last four games, the 26-year-old has been unable to get on base. With the success of Dayan Viciedo, Alexei Ramirez and Tyler Flowers at the bottom of the order, the Sox are looking for someone who could drive these runners in. Danks’ two RBIs since being penciled in on a day to day basis show that he is hindering the overall success of the lineup.
With Avisail Garcia gone for the year and Adam Eaton out for an unknown period of time, it is inevitable that Danks will still see plenty of playing time. It is unlikely that he will be sent down in the near future because the outfielder options in the minors (Gorkys Hernandez, Blake Tekotte and Jared Mitchell) are all failing to hit over .250 and are a downgrade defensively. So by default, no matter how lost Danks looks at the plate, he will continue to get an opportunity.
However, because of his recent struggles, the bat should be taken out of Danks’ hand and he should be nothing more than a fourth outfielder.
There have been whispers that Danks should be cut because quite frankly he provides next to nothing at the plate. Some people believe that they rather have a backup outfielder that provides more than just a late game defensive replacement.
The Sox have seen how valuable outfield depth is in the organization. Danks should not be cut because there can always be a need for a replacement for defensively challenged Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza.
It is apparent that Danks will never be a quality everyday player. With no other options for the Sox to call up, the team should look for a player to pick up who could provide more offensively. While the free agent market does not contain any viable names at this point in the season, the Sox should keep their eye on the waiver wire for someone who fits their need.