Danks Heading Back to Arizona

By Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune reporter7:43 p.m. CDT, April 22, 2013

John Danks knew he stood little chance of starting a minor league rehabilitation assignment once he faced general manager Rick Hahn, manager Robin Ventura, pitching coach Don Cooper and trainer Herm Schneider.

“It was a little intimidating walking into that one,” Danks said Monday after being told he would return to extended spring training in Arizona to make his next start Friday.

Ventura said the decision for Danks to return to Arizona to continue working to regain velocity in his surgically repaired left shoulder is “the best plan now,” and Danks didn’t entirely disagree.

“I know my stuff is getting better each time out,” Danks said. “I’m getting a lot more consistent. I’ve been around the strike zone more and more each time. We’re getting there.”

Harnessed by hand: Second baseman Gordon Beckham will continue to perform drills that don’t involve his left hand, which underwent surgery April 16 and will sideline him for about another five weeks.

“I’m going to just go shag and throw a couple of balls,” Beckham said. “It’s not going to be much. My body feels fine and obviously I’m working out right now with Herm. Hopefully it will be a smooth transition to get back.”

No training wheels: Ventura revealed that Alex Rios tried to steal third base on his own Sunday, resulting in the back end of an inning-ending double play.

Ventura didn’t agree with Rios’ decision but said he doesn’t want to take away his aggressiveness.

“It’s never easy, but it’s not a time to sit here and start shutting people down,” Ventura said. “It’s not kindergarten.”

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