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Article posted: 4/27/2013 9:45 PM

Danks looks good enough to earn minor-league assignment

By Scot Gregor

There was bad news and good news on the White Sox' starting pitching front Saturday.

The news on ">Gavin FloydJohn Danks;http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=433579#gameType='S'§ionType=career&statType=2&season=2013&level='ALL'[URL] was much better.

Still trying to make it back from Aug. 6 shoulder surgery, Danks made another start in extended spring training Friday and threw 87 pitches in 6 innings, according to Sox pitching coach Don Cooper.

The outing was good enough to earn Danks a minor-league rehab assignment this week.

"He's going to be at one of our affiliates five days from now pitching," Cooper said. "We're going to really monitor him a little closer now because he's a hop, skip and a jump possibly from being back in the big leagues."

When Danks returns to the White Sox' rotation remains a mystery.

"The question that John's going to have to answer, and he'll have that answer before anybody else, is: 'Are you ready to go win a major-league game?'" Cooper said. "He knows what it takes to win here. He knows what he's got to have equipment wise and stuff wise. And that's what we're trying to hone in on now.

"We're getting down to it. And he's got a little bit more to climb. Hopefully that climb continues. He's already ahead of schedule. This is something we didn't want to rush.

"He's not even a year past surgery, but the final preparation is underway."

Keppinger out again:

Infielder [/URL]Jeff Keppinger;http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=433579#gameType='S'§ionType=career&statType=2&season=2013&level='ALL'[URL] missed his second straight game Saturday with back spasms.

"They keep treating it," manager Robin Ventura said. "He's down."

There is a chance Keppinger could be the latest White Sox player to land on the disabled list, but Ventura doesn't think the spasms are that serious.

"Anything's possible," Ventura said. "Right now I'm not looking at that. We'll get through tonight and see where he is. With that (DL), (trainer) Herm (Schneider) will let me know if it's going in that direction. Right now, they're just treating him and trying to get him ready."

Head games:

[/URL]Conor Gillaspie;http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=433898#gameType='R'§ionType=career&statType=1&season=2013&level='ALL'[URL] has been a pleasant surprise for the White Sox over the first month of the season, and manager Robin Ventura said the 25-year-old third baseman can be an even better player if he calms down a bit.

"I think he might want to be too perfect all the time," Ventura said. "I think he's better when he doesn't think and goes and plays. He's very critical of himself and how he plays, what he does. He's an intense kid and he's very, very hard on himself.

"You just want to let him go play. He's swinging the bat. He's aggressive and he's had some big hits for us already. He just needs to stay out of his own way and play."[/URL]

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