White Sox left-hander John Danks got roughed up on Wednesday for the fourth consecutive start -- surrendering 10 runs on 11 hits in 3⅓ innings against the Reds -- leaving "little reason to believe" the southpaw will be on the roster come Opening Day, reports AJ Cassavell of MLB.com.
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Danks, soon to be 28, underwent surgery in August to repair his shoulder capsule and rotator cuff. The left-hander says that he feels fine physically -- and that he's "making strides" -- but his numbers in camp seem to indicate otherwise. Danks now has a 16.36 ERA and just four strikeouts in 11 innings this spring -- good for a .443 batting average against -- and Cassavell reports that his velocity has not returned to its pre-surgery norms.
While Spring Training numbers by themselves are typically taken with a large bucket of salt, the fact that Danks velocity isn't there may be indication of a real problem. Manager Robin Ventura hasn't ruled Danks out of a roster spot entirely, noting that the Sox don't actually need a fifth starter until April 13, but he did note that the left-hander's "window is closing."
Now entering his seventh season with the White Sox, Danks owns a 4.12 ERA and 6.9 K/9 rate in 159 starts for Chicago. Signed to a five-year, $65 million contract extension following the 2011 season, Danks will make $14.25 million each of the next four years.