CHICAGO -- Although Jordan Danks finished hitless in two official at-bats during Saturday night's loss to the Rays, he had what would be considered a highly positive overall effort at the plate.
Danks walked twice, including a free pass from Joel Peralta with the bases loaded in the eighth, forcing home a run. For the night, the patient Danks saw 24 pitches in four at-bats.
"A lot of times in the past I've been getting myself out on pitches, being a little too early on them and swinging at bad pitches and grounding out and wasting at-bats," Danks said. "I feel like the more pitches I see, the more walks I get and the better pitches I get in hitters' counts."
Manager Robin Ventura points to the younger Danks as one of the players who will have an opportunity for extra at-bats due to the plethora of White Sox injuries, specifically focusing on left fielder Dayan Viciedo's left oblique strain in this instance.
"That's one of those things where you are getting guys who are getting extended opportunities that they normally wouldn't get," Ventura said. "He's going up there and battling. Today is going to be [Dewayne] Wise. Again, they are getting more of a sample than just once a week."
Danks' first Minors rehab start to come Thursday
CHICAGO -- The biggest positive for John Danks moving from extended Spring Training to a Minor League rehab start is the adrenaline rush from changing to an actual game.
"Yeah, I'm anticipating that," said Danks, who was back in Chicago on Sunday. "There's going to be a couple people there and it's actually run as a game. In extended, it's like a high school scrimmage. It'll be fun to get out there and pitch in an atmosphere."
Danks made his final extended spring start in Arizona on Friday as he works his way back from season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder last Aug. 6. His stuff wasn't as sharp last Friday, by Danks' estimation, but he also was pitching in a morning game after flying in the night before.
His first rehab start will take place with Double-A Birmingham Thursday in a home game for the Barons. It''s unknown as to how many rehab starts Danks will need before being ready to return to the White Sox, but he doesn't expect one start and done.
"I'm sure they're going to want a couple or a few," Danks said. "I think once I tell them I'm ready and they're getting the positive reports back from different coaches, we'll go from there.
"So far it's been good. I haven't been feeling anything the last couple days and certainly not whenever I'm pitching so I'm making improvements, doing good. The goal is to come in and help the team every time out. Hopefully I'm that little kick in the pants we need and we'll get the ball rolling."
Gavin Floyd's right flexor strain suffered Saturday and ensuing trip to the disabled list Sunday serves as a little extra motivation for Danks to return, as if he needed any more.
"That's actually what I said [Saturday] night when it happened. I'm ready. I'm ready to get back out there," said Danks, adding that Floyd's injury "was hard to watch." "Maybe that'll move the process along a little quicker, I don't know. As far as my recovery goes, I'm on the right path."
Ventura expects Keppinger to return Tuesday
CHICAGO -- Jeff Keppinger missed a third straight game with lower back spasms, but White Sox manager Robin Ventura hopes to have his starting second baseman back for the start of the club's series in Texas on Tuesday night.
"Again, it's just one of those that he doesn't look like he'll be in there today," Ventura said. "Hopefully he's feeling better by the end of today or during the game."
When asked if Keppinger could be the seventh White Sox player to hit the disabled list if he wasn't ready Tuesday, Ventura stressed that he expected him back.
Third to first
• Carlton Fisk threw out one of Sunday's first pitches to assistant hitting coach Harold Baines.
• The White Sox entered Sunday featuring the third-best home ERA in the American League at 3.00.
• Following Sunday's 8-3 loss to the Rays, the White Sox optioned outfielder Blake Tekotte to Triple-A Charlotte. They will make a corresponding roster move before Tuesday's series opener in Texas. It will most likely be the addition of an eighth reliever.