08/01/12 5:50 PM ET
Danks plans to return strong, live up to contract
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
Fair or not, the veteran left-handed hurler knows the connection is there, and he admitted Wednesday that he has thought about it himself.
"You know, this definitely wasn't intentional," Danks said. "I've pitched in pain or discomfort before, and that's what I thought this was, just to a bigger degree.
"This couldn't have gone any worse from what I planned. You sign a five-year deal and I expected to be the anchor of the staff for five years. I'm not saying I can't be for the next four, but I definitely got off on the wrong foot.
"It's tough, because they put a lot of trust and faith in me and gave me a lot of money," Danks said. "To this point, I certainly haven't earned it."
Danks posted a 3-4 record with a 5.70 ERA and just 30 strikeouts over 53 2/3 innings covering nine starts this season. He hopes part of those struggles could be attributed to what has been diagnosed as the subscapularis strain in his left shoulder, although Monday's surgery will show if there's greater damage.
Danks will not use the possibility of injury as an excuse for his subpar early results.
"If I take the ball, that's because I truly think I can give us a chance to win," Danks said. "But when I was struggling to play catch two or three days after my start, that's when I thought something was up. I thought for sure that it was something abnormal going on, but I didn't expect this.
"Definitely, it's a tough deal. But I'm not the first guy to have to go through it. There have been a lot of guys that have gone through this and come back feeling good and have had success beyond this."
That thought process sustains Danks. It gives the already intense competitor an extra push to hopefully come back healthy by Spring Training, assuming everything checks out Monday morning.
"There have been some days that have gotten -- I've been down pretty low," Danks said. "There's a real good support system, with family, friends and teammates and medical staff and coaches. The list goes on. I feel very fortunate to have the people in my corner that I do.
"Even if I was making league minimum ... money is certainly not the reason you play, but it's just a fact. So, it's tough. It's something I'll deal with, and it will be that extra motivation this offseason when I'm going through the rehab and getting ready for next year. It will do nothing but fuel my fire and put some good pressure on me to come back and truly live up to the contract."
Manto wants hitters to stay true to selves
MINNEAPOLIS -- With two months left in what could be a playoff-caliber 2012 season, White Sox hitting coach Jeff Manto has a very simple suggestion of success for his charges.
"The key is not to panic and trust what you have been doing," Manto said. "There will be a lot of times where guys will think they need to do more, and that's when we start to get into trouble. As long as guys can keep staying positive and just staying in the frame of mind that they are in and just continue to play their role, things will be fine.
"Stay within yourself. We don't need Orlando Hudson to start hitting home runs. We don't need Adam Dunn to start hitting singles. Just stay with what they are doing.
"People come off of a task, come out of their own realm, and that's when things get a little hairy," Manto said. "These guys seem to be pretty aware of who they are and what they can do. I think they will keep the path."
White Sox hitters have drawn just two walks in their last 145 plate appearances, covering the last four games. But Manto remains satisfied with the team's overall patient approach.
"What's happening now is that we are getting pitches to hit and just missing them," Manto said. "We still have been working a lot of pitchers deep in the counts. It's just that we are getting pitches to hit and we are swinging now.
"We don't strive for a particular number of walks per game. As far as I'm concerned, the at-bats are still good, so I'm not concerned."
Starting rotation reset, Sale gets 10 days' rest
MINNEAPOLIS -- Philip Humber, Gavin Floyd and Francisco Liriano will be facing the Angels at home this weekend, with Jake Peavy, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana getting the call against the Royals to start next week.
This alignment means Liriano and Peavy work on regular rest, while Humber and Floyd get an extra off-day. Sale has 10 days in between starts, while Quintana will have eight days since his last trip to the mound. The moves work along the White Sox desire to watch the rising innings totals of Sale, as a first-year starter, and Quintana, as a rookie.
"When you have six guys, you can push it around this way, because you have the flexibility to have guys go every five days," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Having the two young guys, you try to take care of them and give them the best opportunity when they go out there, they're at their strongest.
"The most important thing is to make sure they're healthy and competitive when they go out there. Make sure they have every bit of ammo when they go out there and pitch."
Third to first
• The White Sox have won nine of their last 10 games decided by one run following Wednesday's 3-2 victory over the Twins. They have a 16-12 record in one-run contests this season and 11-8 on the road.
• Alejandro De Aza has 14 hits in his last 32 plate appearances against the Twins. He finished this three-game series 7-for-13.
• Kevin Youkilis snapped an 0-for-15 funk with a fourth-inning single. He has batted .246 since joining the White Sox on June 25.
• Alex Rios' two hits Wednesday gave him 123 this season, surpassing his 2011 total of 122.
• Wednesday's win gave the White Sox seven consecutive series victories against the Twins, and raised their record to 18-6 over Minnesota in the last 24 games.