White Sox

Danks has minor shoulder tear


Danks has minor shoulder tear

An MRI revealed John Danks has a Grade 1 tear in his subscapularis -- a muscle in his throwing shoulder -- that will not require surgery, only rest. But there's no timetable for how long Danks will need off, let alone when he'll be ready to return to the Sox rotation.

"It's not thought to be anything real major," Danks said. "Get some rest and get back at it. I don't know any schedule at this point or anything. Its frustrating because it feels good one day and then it feels like crap the next day. So it is frustrating, but at the same time its good to actually know what were dealing with now.

"Its not anything worse, its just going to take a little longer I think than we first anticipated."

The word "tear" is certainly frightening, especially when you're talking about a pitcher's shoulder. Danks, too, shared that fear, as surgery likely would've cost him the rest of the 2012 season.

When you hear the word tear its kind of scary," Danks said. "I dont think its anything super major. I went out and pitched last week and felt fine, stuff was great. Its just having trouble bouncing back and this is the reason."

Danks, who hasn't started in the majors since May 19, threw four innings on June 12. But he experienced more soreness than expected following his outing and was checked out by renowned shoulder and elbow specialist Dr. Lewis Yocum, who found nothing serious going on in Danks' shoulder.

The diagnosis for Danks is a little worse than general manager Kenny Williams thought prior to Monday's game -- Williams viewed it as "general soreness" typical of spring training -- but without a timetable, it's tough to identify the impact the injury will have. It all depends on when Danks is healed and ready to throw again. He says it'll be at least a few days, as he needs to wait for the dye from Monday's MRI to clear his system.

While Danks' future is unclear, the Sox can take at least some comfort in how well Jose Quintana has pitched. And as long as his spot in the rotation is secure, the Sox won't need to rush Danks back.

"Its fortunate for where John is right now, on the disabled list, to be able to have an arm and a kid thats pitching the way the Quintana is, you give John as much time as he needs," Ventura said before Monday's game. "We dont want to rush him back and try to push him in there before hes ready. I think thats the cushion and the convenience of having a guy pitching as well as Q."

White Sox sign Enoy Jimenez, the 17-year-old brother of Eloy Jimenez


White Sox sign Enoy Jimenez, the 17-year-old brother of Eloy Jimenez

One Jimenez just isn't enough for the White Sox.

The White Sox signed the younger brother of top prospect Eloy Jimenez this weekend. Enoy Jimenez is a 17-year-old infielder, and the 21-year-old outfielder ranked as the No. 3 prospect in baseball was on hand for his brother's big moment.

Eloy figures to hit the big leagues early next season, though it will likely be a while longer before his teenage brother could do the same. Still, they're likely hoping for the chance to play together one day.

According to this pretty exhaustive list from MLB.com, four sets of brothers have played together on the White Sox: Homer and Ted Blankenship in the 1920s, Dick and Hank Allen in the 1970s, Roberto and Sandy Alomar in 2003 and 2004 and John and Jordan Danks in 2012.

Should we be getting ready for the fifth pair?

Matt Davidson's incredibly interesting 2018


Matt Davidson's incredibly interesting 2018

This season, Matt Davidson became the fourth player in MLB history to hit three home runs in a season opener. It definitely raised a few eyebrows, especially after Paul Konerko noted during spring training that a 40-home run season and an All-Star selection isn’t out of the question for the California native. After clobbering nine home runs (seven of them coming at Kauffman Stadium) in his first 21 games, anything seemed possible.

Unfortunately it didn’t quite turn out that way, though he did rack up his second straight 20-homer season. But it’s hard to argue that 2018 wasn’t a success for Davidson — mostly because of the swings he didn’t make.

Everything else aside, Davidson walked as often as Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo in 2018.

OK, the more meaningful comparison would be Davidson to himself.

What stands out is his walk rate. One hundred fifty three players had at least 400 plate appearances in both 2017 and 2018. Among them, Davidson had the second-highest increase in walk percentage this past season.

Consider this: In 2017, Davidson and Tim Anderson became (and still are) the only players in MLB history with 160-plus strikeouts and fewer than 20 walks in a season.

Davidson, while logging 20 more at-bats in 2018, had the same number of strikeouts, 165, but he increased his walk total from 19 to 52. Give him credit for that. It’s a tough adjustment to make at the minor league level let alone in the major leagues. The increased walk rate brought his on-base percentage from .260 in 2017 (well below the AL average of .324) to .319 in 2018 (a tick above the AL average of .318) and pushed his overall offensive production from 16 percent below league average (as measured by his 84 weighted runs created plus, or wRC+) to four percent above league average (104 wRC+).

And I haven’t even mentioned the most fun aspect of his 2018 season: He pitched! And he pitched well.

Thirty pitchers took the mound for the White Sox in 2018, all of whom made at least three appearances. And only one of them didn’t allow a run: Davidson.

He topped out at 91.9 MPH and had as many strikeouts, two, as baserunners allowed in his three innings of work. The two batters he struck out, Rougned Odor and Giancarlo Stanton, combined for 56 home runs in 2018. They combined for 89 home runs (and an MVP award) in 2017.

In his career, Stanton had a combined 16 plate appearances and zero strikeouts against Barry Zito, CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Edwin Díaz. He struck out in his one plate appearance against Davidson.

Davidson is one of just three players with 20 or more home runs and at least three mound appearances in a season in MLB history:

— Babe Ruth (1919): 29 home runs, 17 games on the mound
— Davidson (2018): 20 home runs, three games on the mound
— Shohei Ohtani (2018): 22 home runs, 10 games on the mound

Facts are facts. Davidson is actually serious about expanding his role on the mound.

“To be honest, I would love to maybe explore that idea,” he said in July. “Pitching was a dream. As a young kid, everybody wants to hit that walk-off homer, right? I was the guy striking that guy out. That’s how I first loved the game. My favorite player was Randy Johnson and doing that.

“So, it’s something I would be interested in. I don’t know if the game would necessarily allow that or something like that. It’s something that is really close to my heart is pitching.”

Whether or not it ever happens, Davidson’s 2018 was all about finding ways to increase his value. For the White Sox, that’s a good problem to have.