Danks to start Friday; Sale eyeing Tuesday

Danks to start Friday; Sale eyeing Tuesday

CHICAGO -- John Danks officially was named the White Sox starter for Friday's series opener against the Marlins by manager Robin Ventura following Wednesday's 6-2 loss to Boston.

It will be Danks' first big league start since May 19, 2012, when he shut out the Cubs over 6 1/3 innings at Wrigley Field. Danks started the 2013 season on the disabled list and went through four Minor League rehab starts to help build up arm strength following August arthroscopic season-ending shoulder surgery last year.

"This is exciting news," Danks said. "It was like Christmas Day when they told me. Now the ball is in my court. I have to go out there and win a ballgame."

"He wouldn't be here in this spot if we were expecting him to go four [innings]," said Ventura. "He's ready to go and he feels he's strong enough and is going to get us a good chance to win."

Chris Sale, on the other hand, is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday against the Cubs after being scratched Wednesday with a mild case of shoulder tendinitis.

"There's going to be an extended time here where he's not going to do anything and then you'll kind of assess it," said Ventura of Sale. "With him skipping a start, it's one of those where he was voicing concerns about his shoulder being a little sore.

"I don't know if it's overreacting, but it's being very cautious of how we handle him going forward. It's something that hasn't come up before, so let's take care of it now."

Ventura said the team would have the same reaction for any starter talking about soreness, not just the 24-year-old cornerstone of their franchise with a 5-2 record, 2.53 ERA and .192 opponents average against. Sale guaranteed a return against the Cubs, but Ventura said it's too early to have to make that call.

"He wants to go pitch tonight. It's us taking the ball out of his hands," Ventura said. "It's not his decision. You just talk to him about how he's feeling. We'll go from that. Again, I expect him to be ready to go when his next turn comes up."

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.