At first, it sounded like the worst news possible.
After the White Sox fell to the Cubs 12-3 at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday night, injured starting pitcher John Danks said an MRI taken on his sore shoulder earlier in the day revealed a Grade 1 tear in the subscapularis.
But Danks said the diagnosis could have been much worse, and he won't need surgery.
"It's not thought to be anything real major," said Danks, who has not pitched since May 19, when he beat the Cubs at Wrigley Field. "Get some rest and get back at it. I don't know any schedule at this point or anything. It's frustrating because it feels good one day and then it feels like (crud) the next day.
"So it is frustrating, but at the same time it's good to actually know what we're dealing with now."
Danks pitched a rehab game for Class AAA Charlotte last Tuesday and was hoping to be back in the Sox' rotation and pitch against the Cubs Monday night.
Now, it looks like a return after the all-star break is more likely.
"Just the regular pictures from my first MRI to today looked pretty darn close to the same," Danks said. "It's not anything worse, it's just going to take a little longer I think than we first anticipated."
The White Sox never came right out and said they were willing to lose a game by using a spot starting pitcher like Zach Stewart in order to give talented arms like Chris Sale and Jake Peavy some extra rest.
And they would never come out and say they thought Stewart would be good enough to beat a Cubs team that has the worst record (23-44) in baseball.
As it turned out, Stewart was no match at all for the Cubs.
With the winds gusting from right to left up to 41 mph, the North Siders launched 5 home runs in their 12-3 win -- 4 of them off Stewart.
"I just made a few bad pitches, and pitches I wouldn't want to make in those situations," Stewart said after making his first start of the season and allowing 6 runs on 9 hits over 5 innings. "A few opportunities came about and I didn't make the pitch. They did what they were supposed to do with it."
While the loss was the Sox' fifth in the last 6 games, manager Robin Ventura was not making any apologies for starting Stewart.
Ventura said he is focused on the full season.
"We weren't planning on John not being able to make this start," Ventura said. "But things happen as far as some guys are available, some guys aren't. You just have to make it through. The goal is all the way through the year, keeping them as strong as they can be all the way through the year."
Courtney Hawkins, the White Sox' first-round draft pick earlier this month (No. 13 overall) was at U.S. Cellular Field Monday.
The 18-year-old outfielder officially signed and received a $2.475 million bonus. Hawkins will start his professional career at Advanced Rookie Bristol.
Hawkins took batting practice with the Sox and threw out a ceremonial first pitch.
"I'm still waiting for it to kick in," Hawkins said. "I still feel the same. I just feel like I'm going to be playing a little different caliber baseball now. I'm excited."
Praise for Garza:
Even though he hit a 2-run homer off Matt Garza on Monday night, Paul Konerko heaped praise on the Cubs' starter for surviving on a tough night to pitch on the South Side.
"He's got really good stuff," Konerko said. "Just hitting spots. He pitched just well enough to keep you off the stuff away. He got some runs to work with. A guy like him, he gets runs to work with and gets a head of steam."