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Danks Likely Opening Day Starter for Rebuilding White Sox
White Sox manager has not announced who his opening day starter will be when the White Sox face the Texas Rangers April 6 in Arlington, but it looks like veteran left-hander John Danks certainly has a great shot at getting the assignment.
Starting on opening day had always been the province of former Sox lefty Mark Buehrle, but when he left to join former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen with the Miami Marlins, the job opened up. After Buehrle signed his new deal with the Marlins, he suggested that Danks deserved to be the White Sox opening day starter.
Danks struggled last season with an 8-12 record along with a 4.33 earned run average, but the White Sox still had enough faith in him to sign him to a $65 million extension in the offseason. He got off to a miserable start at 0-8 with a 5.25 ERA before he came back to win 8 of his last 12 decisions.
Danks couldn't have been more gratified to get the extension coming off a poor season. He felt the White Sox decided to keep him in the fold and have him remain a key part of their pitching plans because they believe last year's performance will not happen again.
"I took it to mean they pictured it as a fluke and not a trend,'' Danks told the Chicago Sun-Times. "They anticipate me getting back to where I was before last year. It helps knowing the organization has faith and trust in me to get back to where I was.
"It was incredible. For them to do that for me coming off my worst year and my toughest, I noticed that. I'm very appreciative.''
Danks said he is going to try to change his approach on the mound this year and much of it depends on getting ahead of the hitter by throwing a strike on the first pitch. By falling behind early in the count, Danks had to throw too many "get me over" pitches that aggressive batters could hit hard.
Peavy has been an opening day starter when he was with the San Diego Padres, but none of the others have had that experience.
Danks said he would like the ball on opening day, but he pays no mind to Buehrle campaigning for him. "He says some stupid stuff sometimes,'' Danks said. "You take what Buehrle says with a grain of salt. But I think any one of us five can go out there and give us a chance to win."
But make no mistake about it. Danks has redemption in mind and the sooner he can get started with it the better he will like it.
Chicago Sun-Times—Lefty John Danks likely to get opening day nod for Sox
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