It wasn't all bad news Tuesday on the White Sox' left-handed pitching front.
Before ace Chris Sale was scratched from Wednesday night's start against the Red Sox with a "mild case" of shoulder tendinitis, lefty John Danks threw a bullpen session at U.S. Cellular Field and hopes to be activated off the disabled list and start Friday against the Miami Marlins.
"It's been a long process," said Danks, who hasn't pitched for the White Sox for a year and is just over nine months removed from shoulder surgery. "Hopefully, it ends this weekend. I knew it was going to be a long process. We're still not there. Try to get in a game and get a better feel. There's a light at the end of the season. It's been long lost season and it's hard to watch. I'm getting excited about getting back out there."
The numbers say Danks struggled in his last rehab outing Saturday with Class AAA Charlotte. But the 28-year-old starter said allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits and 5 walks in 42⁄3 innings was not nearly as bad as it looks.
"I had good stuff," Danks said. "The best stuff I've had to that point, which is a plus. It was one of those days where I had to harness my stuff. Lots of swings and misses, lot of walks at the same time. It is good to have my stuff back.
"I'd throw tonight if they'd let me. I don't make those decisions. We had a meeting yesterday and I tried to plead my case a little bit."
As long as he feels good Wednesday, Danks should be ready to go this weekend.
"He looked fine," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said after watching Danks throw. "A guy going to the pen, you're looking more if he's in pain and we didn't see anything like that."
Beckham at shortstop?
Out since April 9 with a fractured left hamate bone, second baseman Gordon Beckham is also due back this weekend from a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte.
When he returns, don't be surprised if Beckham gives Alexei Ramirez a breather from time to time and plays shortstop.
That was Beckham's position when he was a collegiate All-American at Georgia, and he made his second straight start at short for Charlotte Tuesday night.
"It's just options when everybody starts getting healthy you can only fit so many people in certain spots," manager Robin Ventura said. "Alexei's the shortstop. But in case you need somebody there, is (Beckham) able to do that? That's more of a reason to have him do it.
"I want him to play second base here. But for one game, or if something happens, before you could get somebody up here, would he be able to do it? He did it in spring training. He didn't play a game there but he worked out and you start to find out if he's comfortable."
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