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.

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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.”

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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.”

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Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.