White Sox

John Danks' best start comes at critical time for White Sox

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John Danks' best start comes at critical time for White Sox

The White Sox didn’t have to pull the rip cord Sunday afternoon and deploy the emergency parachute, which in this analogy would’ve been Hector Noesi or Jose Quintana.

Against the backdrop of a taxed bullpen from Saturday’s doubleheader, John Danks turned in seven innings of one-run ball in the White Sox 4-3 walk-off win over Cincinnati Sunday afternoon. Long relievers Scott Carroll and Carlos Rodon were unavailable after combining to throw 10 2/3 innings Saturday, while lefty Dan Jennings labored through 39 ineffective pitches in a ninth-inning meltdown in the first game of the doubleheader.

So if Danks were lit up — as he was over 2 1/3 innings against Minnesota in his last start — the White Sox might’ve been forced to use Noesi after he threw 1 2/3 innings before exiting Game 1 Saturday due to a lower back contusion. Sunday was Quintana’s bullpen day, too, which could’ve turned into actual game action in relief if necessary.

[MORE: Gordon Beckham bails out Robertson as White Sox walk off Reds]

The preferred, and probably necessary, option was for Danks to have just the start he did.

“I like knowing that it’s your game when you’re out there,” Danks said. “Obviously performance dictates how long you’re in the game but go out there for a while and give us a chance to win.”

Danks scattered six hits and three walks, with Cincinnati’s damage off him coming on Devin Mesoraco’s RBI triple in the fourth. He held the top of the Reds’ order — Billy Hamilton, Marlon Byrd, Joey Votto and Todd Frazier — to just two walks and no hits in 12 plate appearances.

“We knew he was going to go out there for around 105 to 120 pitches,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It was big. You saw him today, he was mixing in a little bit, you probably saw a little speeding up on guys and the quick movement. He was just trying to create some deception and it worked for him. He was around the zone, he was throwing strikes. We needed that today more than any day.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Not only did Danks mix his fastball and changeup effectively, but he worked at a quick tempo and threw a few Reds hitters off with it. In one instance, Danks quick-pitched Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, who was still twirling his bat in his pre-stance routine as the pitch whizzed into Tyler Flowers’ mitt for a strike.

It was Danks’ longest start of the year by a full inning and his third quality start in six games. The 118 pitches he threw were his highest total since July 2, 2014. Sunday was the first time in 2015 Danks threw more than 100 pitches, too.

“We’ve been trying to do certain things just to give me a better chance,” Danks said. “Messing up timing’s one of them. I think it’s very effective. We’re going to continue to work on things but it’s basically doing whatever you gotta do to get that guy out and fortunately it worked.”

2020 MLB Draft: Reid Detmers is best player who could fall to White Sox

2020 MLB Draft: Reid Detmers is best player who could fall to White Sox

When the White Sox are on the clock next Wednesday in the first round of the MLB Draft, remember the name Reid Detmers.

If the former Louisville Cardinals left-hander with one of the coolest curveballs you will ever see is still available, the White Sox might have a steal on their hands.

“In my mind, (Detmers) is the best player who could fall to No. 11,” MLB.com draft expert Jim Callis said on the White Sox Talk Podcast. “I’m not saying he will. I think he’s the guy who could. That would be the best player you could probably hope for at 11 would be Reid Detmers.”

At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Detmers isn’t going to wow you with his velocity. His fastball tops off in the low-90s.

What he’s known for is a sweeping curveball that takes a wild scenic route to a whole other area code once it leaves Detmer’s hands, before somehow finding the catcher’s mitt on the other end of the rainbow.

“He has one of the best curveballs in the draft,” said Callis, which to me, is an understatement. Just watch this:


And this:


RELATED: Top 20 MLB Draft prospects: Who will White Sox pick at No. 11?

Right-handed pitcher Max Meyer, who is expected to be chosen ahead of Detmers next Wednesday, was recently asked by Callis on MLB Network if he could take one pitch from last year’s Team USA squad, whose would he take? Meyer chose Detmers’ curveball. Who wouldn’t? That thing is nasty.

During his 2019 season, abbreviated due to the coronavirus pandemic, Detmers dominated in his four starts, finishing 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA, 48 strikeouts and six walks in 22 innings. In 2019, he set Louisville’s single-season strikeout record with 167 strikeouts in 113.1 innings.

Detmers has a chance to not only be one of the best pitchers in the draft, Callis believes he could be the most major league ready, as well.

“To me, there’s a lot of good college pitching in this draft. That’s the strength of this draft. Reid Detmers is probably the first college starting pitcher in the big leagues in this draft,” Callis said.

But before you can pencil him into the starting rotation on the South Side in 2022, he’ll first have to be on the board when it’s the White Sox turn to pick. If he is, will the White Sox, with new scouting director Mike Shirley, choose him? We’ll learn next week.

In the meantime, check out the podcast with Callis. We go over several other options for the White Sox. There are some intriguing possibilities at multiple positions, including a former star shortstop from Mt. Carmel whose idol is Tim Anderson.

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Who should the Sox take in the newly formatted draft?

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Who should the Sox take in the newly formatted draft?

Chuck Garfien is joined by Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline and MLB.com to discuss the upcoming MLB draft. With the draft only being five rounds this year, Callis discusses the differences between this year and a normal draft and who the Sox should take.

(2:45) - Differences between this draft and previous ones

(8:20) - Who should the White Sox take with the 11th overall pick?

(13:25) - Where will former Jackie Robinson West Little Leaguer Ed Howard land in the draft?

(20:00) - Should the White Sox take a catcher?

(27:08) - The player in the draft who the White Sox are rumored to like

Listen here or below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.