By Bruce Levine–
GLENDALE, Ariz. (CBS) — The once hard-throwing, left-handed stud of the White Sox rotation is still in search of a new formula for getting hitters out. John Danks has been through the wringer while making a successful comeback from shoulder surgery in 2012.READ MORE: Woman Questions COVID-19 Clinic After Receiving Results Before Testing
His main success has been coming back from a rare shoulder surgery and pitching without pain. The other side of the equation has been trying to get hitters out in the big leagues with an 88-mph fastball. Danks once possessed a 94-mph heater. He has worked incessantly with pitching coach Don Cooper on reinventing himself as a finesse pitcher.
“There is certainly a lot of work to still be done,” Danks said. “The change-up is a pitch I am still working with. I talk to Coop all the time, and he has shown a lot of confidence in the pitch for me. I know it will be there if I need it. It is a feel pitch, and I will keep throwing it till it comes around. Certainly it is frustrating to be on the field and not to be able to execute my best pitch.”READ MORE: 4 Dead, 25 Wounded In Weekend Shootings In Chicago
The dedicated way Danks has gone about his business has been admirable. The results have varied, from good to downright awful at times. The soon to be 30-year-old Danks threw 61 pitches against the Angels on Sunday. He gave up three runs in 3 2/3 innings. The major damage was done by David Freese, who hit a two-run home run in the first inning.
Danks somehow finished the 2014 season with a break-even record of 11-11. Even with a high ERA of 4.74 in 2014, he had his first non-losing season since 2010. The general bad times also haven’t taken the fun out competing for Danks.
“Sure I enjoy it, it’s a game,” Danks said after his Sunday outing. “I always have to remind myself, even after the lowest points of coming back, I get to play a game for a living. There are games that are frustrating and that does take some fun out of it. In general, I try to have as much fun as I can with it.”MORE NEWS: 17-Year-Old Shot In Hyde Park
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.