Danks, 27, felt out-of-the-ordinary soreness in the sub scapular area, which is the back of his left shoulder, when he tried playing catch Sunday after throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a Saturday victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The durable starter talked to general manager Ken Williams, manager Robin Ventura and head athletic trainer Herm Schneider, and after a MRI was done on Thursday, they decided the best course of action was a safe one for a pitcher who had one previous DL trip last season with a strained right oblique.
"Nothing serious," Ventura said of Danks. "We're just getting out in front of it and making sure we take care of him."
"I was feeling different than I normally would," Danks said of the soreness. "I'm no doctor, but I told them I was prepared to pitch tomorrow. I still feel like I probably could, but in talking to Kenny and Robin and Herm, it's better to be safe than sorry. I'll try to get everything completely right and then pick it back up."
Over nine starts this season, Danks has a 3-4 record and a 5.70 ERA in 53 2/3 innings. Command has been an issue, as the left-hander has walked 23 and struck out just 30.
But this recent bout of soreness has not been a problem all season, so it won't become an excuse for the struggles, as a smiling Danks pointed out Thursday.
"No, it isn't the reason I've stunk to this point, if that's what you are asking," said Danks, drawing much laughter from the assembled media. "Nobody feels good at this point. I was definitely looking forward to getting out there.
"I've said it since the last start: I was hoping that would be kind of the start to jump-start my season. Now, here we are. It seems like if it's not one thing, it's something else at this point. Just trying to stay positive. I'm going to get all my work in and get healthy."
A trip to the disabled list, retroactive to his start against the Cubs on Saturday, means Danks will miss the Indians and then the series finale at Tampa Bay on May 30. If all goes well, Danks will be eligible to return on a June 4 off-day and then would face the Blue Jays at home on June 5 without any Minor League rehab work needed.
Quintana, 23, made one appearance for the White Sox on May 7 at Progressive Field against the Indians, as that day's doubleheader exception 26th man. He relieved a struggling Philip Humber in Game 1 and yielded just one hit over 5 2/3 innings, while striking out three and walking two.
Quintana's promotion to Charlotte came through on Thursday, after he posted a 2.77 ERA over nine starts and 48 2/3 innings for Double-A Birmingham. Quintana simply continued on his trip to Chicago, where he will get a second look at the Indians on Friday.
Ventura wouldn't guarantee a second start as Danks' replacement for Quintana, but he seems to be the logical choice.
"He'll get the first one, and then we'll see about the second one," Ventura said. "That's one of the things that happens when guys kind of fill in. You get enough to earn that shot the second time."
According to Ventura, Danks' shoulder fatigue or soreness started to become apparent during the White Sox 7-4 victory over the Cubs, as it limited him to 83 pitches on a pleasant afternoon at Wrigley. When Danks felt sore "in a place I'm not used to being sore," he made his soreness known.
"That was the only reason I said anything, and it turns out it's a good thing I did," Danks said. "I don't know how serious or whatever. Definitely it's something that needed to be nipped and I'm glad we did."
Taking the safe route and protecting the player certainly is the norm rather than the exception for the White Sox, especially with young pitching. See Chris Sale's temporary bullpen move this season when he had elbow soreness, or the myriad specialists Danks visited when he had 2009 circulation problems in his left hand.
At this point, the Danks-for-Quintana swap looks like nothing more than a precautionary measure to protect their $65 million man, who said the MRI showed his labrum and rotator cuff to be clean.
"It was one of those where he kind of felt it, and every day since then, he's been noticing it," Ventura said. "It's nothing serious, but nothing we really want to mess with this early in the season."
"He's just got some soreness," White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "And it's soreness enough to where we are going to skip him along the lines of us watching everybody and taking care of everybody. It's kind of the same thing. Let's nip it in the bud now and give him some extra time."
"I'm bummed about it, but at the same time, I'm looking forward to getting healthy," Danks said. "I'll be well rested for the second part of the season."