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White Sox spring training headlines: John Danks debuts to rave reviews

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Everybody's who's anybody is happy with the lefty's first official bullpen session after shoulder surgery

The jaw is in midseason form.
The jaw is in midseason form.
USA TODAY Sports

If you think you're seeing more posts this week, you would be correct. I'm planning on keeping these spring-headline recaps going for as long as the major players and plots have been introduced.

Regarding the latter category, a big one took place Thursday, as John Danks threw his first bullpen session. Scott Reifert has the transcription of his answers. In a few words, "It felt real good." In a few more:

Can he return to where he was two years ago?: "That’s the million dollar question, really. I’ve been dealing with the shoulder for so long now you kind of forget what it feels like to be healthy. You try to figure out if what you’re feeling is normal or something that comes along with an injury. I feel great, I really do. This is the best I’ve felt in a year or so, things are on the up."

Daryl Van Schouwen added some description from Tyler Flowers ("the curve was the best he has seen from Danks"), along with some color ("Real good, John Danks!") and a chunkier quote from Don Cooper:

"He came in looking good,’’ Cooper said. "He’s in good shape. He’s lean, so way to go, doctors. Way to go, John. Way to go, Hermie [trainer Herm Schneider], in getting him out there to do what he did today. If you lined up 10 pitchers on the mounds out there and said, ‘Pick out the guy who had surgery,’ you couldn’t have done it. So that in itself is telling you something.’’

Best Shape of His Life

Matt Thornton said that his thick beard at SoxFest disguised a thinner face. He dropped 22 pounds, most of it due to a reevaluation of his eating habits, which leads to him sleeping better. Doug Padilla breaks it down in great detail, and this is the best quote:

"Yeah, if on (Opening Day) that first fastball goes in there at about 87 mph I'm going to go in and probably have a 12-pack of beer and a big ol' loaf of bread or something,"

Here's a photo of Thornton from Wednesday, if you want to judge for yourself.

Non-pitchers

*Recently married Alex Rios likes where he's at entering the season. He must have looked the part, as Reifert said Ventura and Mark Parent named him Player of the Day for his round of batting practice. (On a scale from 1 to "The Spring-Trainingest," this bullet point rates "Incredibly Spring Training.")

*Despite his alleged situational-hitting prowess, Jeff Keppinger says Joe Maddon told him to let it fly like a cleanup hitter last season. In related news, here's a picture of Maddon in cut-off baseball pants.

*As Larry noted in the last thread's comments, this Q&A with Courtney Hawkins is worth your time.

*Our White Sox spring training broadcast schedule is complete with MLB Network and MLB.tv dates added.

Twitter photos

Updated accordingly, with a few pictures I missed from Wednesday. Three clicks beyond Friendly Gavin Floyd will get you caught up.