As if the White Sox haven't been getting enough good news lately, it looks like John Danks is even closer to coming off the disabled list.
Sidelined with a left shoulder strain, Danks "cut it loose" for the first time during a side session before Friday night's game against the Mariners.
"I threw 20 pitches on the side, fastball, changeup," Danks said. "Felt good. I'm making progress. I haven't been told a schedule or anything, but I'll try to throw another side Sunday. Hopefully, I feel up to throwing some curveballs, some cutters and then we can go from there."
Danks is eligible to come off the DL on Monday, and the Sox still haven't announced a starter for Wednesday night's game against Toronto.
"We'll just play it by ear," manager Robin Ventura said. "See how he feels tomorrow after throwing today."
Since Danks last pitched on May 19, against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, he might need to go to Class AAA Charlotte on a rehab assignment.
"I'll do whatever they tell me to do," Danks said. "If they want me to go down there and throw a game or two, so be it. I'm making progress, it's feeling good. Hopefully it'll feel well enough to spin some and then hopefully I can impress them enough they'll just let me go out there and throw."
Brent Morel went 1-for-4 for Class AAA Charlotte on Friday night, and the injured third baseman is 5-for-12 in three rehab games with the Knights.
Morel (back) is eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday, but manager Robin Ventura doesn't want to rush things.
"You just keep tabs on it and make sure he's healthy when he comes off," Ventura said. "You don't want to lose him again for another 15 games."
If he is healthy, does Morel return as the White Sox' starting third baseman?
"Could be," Ventura said. "We'll get to that when we get there. I don't expect him to lose it just because he's hurt."
After sweeping a three-game series at Tampa Bay and stretching their winning streak to eight games, the White Sox returned home Friday night to a disappointing crowd of 19,168 at U.S. Cellular Field.
"Oh yeah, absolutely," Adam Dunn said when asked if he wishes attendance was better. "But that's something we can't control. All we can control is how well we play on the field. Hopefully, they get excited about us just like we're excited about this team."