John Danks wore a White Sox uniform for every day of his nine-plus MLB seasons. He spent enough time with the franchise to end up on several leaderboards, some better than others:
- 11th in starts (247)
- Sixth in strikeouts (1,102)
- Fourth in home runs allowed (197)
- Tied for 10th in losses (104)
Which is why he's getting as much (e-)ink as he's received, even though his impact has been diminished for years. His time with the White Sox will officially come to an end today, as the club timed his DFA to align with the day Erik Johnson can start. (This assumes Johnson can make the start; let's keep Kevan Smith in mind.)
White Sox personnel voiced their thoughts about the decision on Tuesday, and Wednesday was Danks' turn to make his farewell address. If there was any discontent, he sure hid it well, as he had nothing but good things to say about his time with the Sox ...
"If the phone rings, I'll be certainly interested," Danks said. "If it doesn't for whatever reason, it has been a hell of a run. I can say I got to play nine seasons in the big leagues, especially with one team in a bad-ass city like Chicago. I don't have any regrets. I worked as hard as I know how to and did my very best every time out, and that's really all I could promise."
... and what they might be able to accomplish without him.
"I would say that was probably the hardest part," Danks said. "Went in and hugged guys that were in there yesterday. We are having fun. Those guys are a blast to be around. It’s always more fun to win. Just the energy that gets brought in every day and the camaraderie and the trust in each other. You can see that on the field. Guys are willing to give themselves up for the better of the team.
"They do that because the other guy behind them does the same thing. It’s been a great month aside from four starts. I wish those guys nothing but the best. I’m a Sox fan for sure."
And before he entered the helicopter:
Danks to media: "Thank you guys. You always treated me fairly and with respect."— Scot Gregor (@scotgregor) May 4, 2016
- After a decade of waiting for a White Sox contender, Danks becomes its first casualty - Baseball Prospectus
In his obituary for Danks, James brings up a couple other memories:
As much I remember the Blackout Game, I remember Danks getting bled for a six-run second inning in mid-July 2010 in Target Field. With the Twins magic wanding every ball through the Sox defense, a capacity crowd thundering, it looked like the type of quagmire that should swallow an overmatched pitcher whole. Instead Danks dragged himself through six innings, the last four scoreless, gliding through the same lineup that just tore him apart while the Sox offense crawled back for an improbable victory. I remember that the last start before Danks’ shoulder gave out on him, if it hadn’t already, was six and a third scoreless frames at Wrigley Field; his best night of what was already a bad year.
Avisail Garcia didn't check the weather forecast before tweaking his hamstring. While he was optimistic that he could return after only a couple games, the cold weather has made it hard for him to get re-started. Robin Ventura said there's "still something there" when he runs full speed, but there's no talk yet of a DL stint.
It's kinda adorable seeing FanGraphs enthusiastically slapping the "ace" label on Jose Quintana after literally needing years to remember who the hell he was.
- June 18, 2012: Keep an eye on Jose Quintana?
- July 17, 2013: Jose Quintana's steady improvement
- Dec. 30, 2013: What does Jose Quintana do?
- March 27: 2014: What is a Jose Quintana?
- July 11, 2014: Jose Quintana is better than you think
- Dec. 16, 2014: Jose Quintana: Stud or dud?
- Adam Eaton's value on defense adding up for Chicago White Sox - SweetSpot- ESPN
- Defensive player of the month: Chicago White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton - SweetSpot- ESPN
Now, "Adam Eaton: Outfield Bulwark" is a storyline that just developed this year, and Christina Kahrl follows up on ESPN's award with some further context and reporting.
To put this into context, how amazing is Eaton's plus-13 defensive runs saved in a single month? Well, using lazy math and multiplying his current DRS tally (plus-13) by six because he's done that in 27 games (one-sixth of the season), you get the ludicrous tally of plus-78 defensive runs saved, which would be the highest season tally on record.
She doesn't get carried away, noting that other breakout outfielders haven't been able to sustain their huge metric gains:
There might always be an understandable element of doubt about defensive metrics, in no small part because of their fluctuation from year to year. In 2013, Gerardo Parra was credited with plus-41 defensive runs saved; he has tallied minus-17 since. Carlos Gomez, credited with 38 DRS that same season? He checks in with plus-12 in the two-plus seasons since. Juan Lagares, who put up plus-30 DRS in 2013 and plus-28 in 2014? He was worth just plus-2 in same kind of playing time in 2015.
Good news: The drug tests are working. Bad news: The drug tests are working.
Tim Lincecum will finally deliver his much-delayed showcase for MLB teams on Friday in Scottsdale. Jeff Passan has an early report:
Finally, he’s ready. Tim Lincecum, version 2.5, is set to unveil himself in front of personnel from almost every major league team Friday at 2:30 p.m. local time at Scottsdale Stadium. His left hip, which Dr. Marc Philippon repaired by shaving down bone to allow greater range of motion and reattaching a partially torn labrum, feels normal when he lands and will allow him to comfortably take the extra-long stride that helped catapult him to two National League Cy Young awards. His arm, overtaxed last year because his delivery was out of whack, is throwing fastballs at 91 mph during bullpen sessions, and he expects another mile or two per hour from the adrenaline of in-game competition.
Knowing only what I know from FanGraphs and these write-ups, I'm bearish on Lincecum the way I was skeptical of Avisail Garcia figuring it out. He's starting from a very low place -- worse than post-surgery Danks -- during which he averaged 90-91 with his fastball. If 91 is easier for him, he might be more interesting.
It's banal to say the Sox should give him a whirl, because there's never harm in a minor-league deal. There will be 20+ teams at the showcase with a number of them having a wider margin for in-season auditioning, so it likely won't be that simple. If the Sox somehow ended up signing him, I'd see why. If they ended up having no reported interest, I'd get that, too.
Besides, it's hard to tell what kind of interest the Sox have in the first place. They'll have somebody looking at him, but since it's in Scottsdale, that just might be Paul Konerko investigating a potential uprising on the southern part of his fiefdom.