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Sox hoping for cleaner rehab outing from Danks

CHICAGO -- John Danks will make his third Minor League rehab start -- second for Triple-A Charlotte -- on Sunday afternoon against Pawtucket. The left-hander, who has been on the disabled list since March 22, has been building up arm strength and velocity following season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder last Aug. 6.

During his last trip to the mound in Columbus, Danks allowed two runs on four hits over five innings and struck out four. He also walked five, with White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper listing a slightly cleaner outing from Danks as one of the many intangibles he'll be targeting.

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"I would like to see him go out and get a little better result, not that the results are the end-all for him," Cooper said. "I would like him to continue to throw the ball better and command better. In his last outing, I think he had [five] walks. That doesn't really play, yet. So cutting those down for sure and turning them into balls in play.

"Also if he can continue to build up a little more 'oomfa,' a little more velocity. We are not trying to force feed that, because it is what it is and we'll get what we get. I want him to feel good about his fastball command, continuing his climb with his cutter as well as his changeup. But basically just clean it up a little bit, I would say. Clean up his outing."

Danks' velocity has climbed consistently into the 88-89 mph range, a far cry from where he sat during Spring Training. He's feeling no pain during work in between starts, another huge step forward.

Yet, it's uncertain whether Sunday marks Danks' last start before a White Sox return or if he will need another Minor League outing or two.

"Oh, I don't know about that. I don't make those decisions. I know he's scheduled for the 12th and probably scheduled five to six days after that," Cooper said. "He's going to dictate a lot of it of how he does and how he feels.

"We've talked about this. He'll be the first guy to know if and when he's ready to say 'Yeah, I can help us win a Major League game.' And that's the question that has to be answered. Right now in his mind and anybody else's mind, it's not the case just yet. But again inching closer and it's all positive, but just continue to monitor."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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