John Danks admittedly is running out of time, so the White Sox will look even closer at their options for a fifth starter after Danks was rocked for 11 hits in a 10-6 loss to the Reds.
“Just getting ready has to be the mentality,” Danks said of his status. “Not put a time on anything. It’s not my decision to make.”
He didn’t strike out a batter in an 82-pitch outing that covered 3 1/3 innings in his fourth start since returning from left shoulder surgery last August.
Manager Robin Ventura said he will talk Wednesday with Danks but acknowledged “the window is closing. It is getting tight. We’ll look at him and assess that.”
As of now, Santiago is scheduled to relieve Gavin Floyd on Wednesday against the Diamondbacks. Santiago threw 42 pitches Sunday in a minor league game but has a durable left arm. Axelrod is scheduled to pitch in relief Thursday against the Brewers.
Danks’ fastball, according to one major league scout, averaged between 86-88 mph, topping out at 89. But the biggest issue Tuesday was his inability to put away the Reds’ batters.
“That’s the frustrating part,” said Danks, who has allowed 27 hits in 11 innings this spring. “It’s one thing to get hit around when you’re behind in the count the whole time, but I worked hard to get ahead in the count and just wasn’t able to do anything with them. We’ll just chalk it up as one of those days I guess, but it’s going to be a long night.”
A decision could be made soon on Danks, who could be put on the 15-day disabled list and embark on a minor league rehabilitation assignment in April to build arm strength.
The Sox would need a fifth starter against the Mariners on either April 6 or 7, depending on whether they would keep left-hander Chris Sale on four or five days’ rest after opening day.
“We’ll see how (Danks is Wednesday),” Ventura said. “(Wednesday), that’s the biggest thing, to see how he’s doing and then make a decision.”
Second baseman Gordon Beckham bobbled a potential double play grounder in the first that led to three runs, and Chris Heisey and Jay Bruce knocked out Danks in the fourth with consecutive home runs.
“It’s going to take time and reps,” catcher Tyler Flowers said. “He’s throwing good pitches. The velocity is maybe a bit down and that causes them to foul off a couple of pitches. He had to work deeper in counts. He’s getting close.”