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Rehab start yields the most encouraging John Danks news in weeks

John Danks still doesn't have a timetable on a return, and there still aren't any firm velocity readings. Still, after his rehab start on Monday, Robin Ventura sounded more optimistic about his 2012 Opening Day starter than he has since mid-March:

The 28-year-old tossed six innings in an extended spring training game on Monday in Arizona and manager Robin Ventura was encouraged by the results.

Ventura said his velocity is getting better -- it was clocked as high as 89 mph his previous outing -- and that Danks is scheduled for another start on Saturday.

"He threw fine, it's a positive report," Ventura said. "People that have seen him are having positive reports. He's just feeling stronger and it's probably coming out of his hand a little better."