One of the reasons Williams cited for a starting pitcher possibly not being high up on that list of needs is the return of Philip Humber, who allowed six runs and four homers over just three innings on Sunday during a 6-4 loss to the Tigers, and the return of Gavin Floyd, who will start on Monday against the Twins. John Danks' steady improvement from his left shoulder strain, despite being out of action for two months, was also mentioned by Williams as a reason for rotation optimism.
Danks seemed upbeat concerning the progress he has made, going through another throwing session at up to 120 feet on Sunday. But the left-hander also didn't sound as if he was ready to return any time in the near future.
"Let's not put the cart in front of the horse," said Danks, who last pitched at Wrigley Field on May 19. "We have a lot of progress to [go] still. We're definitely making strides in the right direction. We'll keep working at it and hopefully Kenny is right.
"We're doing everything we know to do. It's been a little longer process than we thought it would be, but we're trying to come back. We want to contribute this year. I'm doing everything I know to do."
No timetable for a return was set by Danks, not when he thought a return one month ago was possible. Danks wants to get on a mound as soon as possible, especially with the positive signs he's seen of late.
"I feel like I'm able to bounce back a little better after I have thrown a couple of days in a row," said Danks, who has a 3-4 record and 5.70 ERA over nine starts this season. "A few weeks ago, I'd have been too sore to do anything, really. I have been able to go out and do everything I've been asked so far.
"Hopefully, it keeps on progressing the way we hope and want [it] to. I'd like to get out there before the year is over."