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Danks feels Paulino's pain

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ARLINGTON -- In the realm of a pitcher coming back from any sort of major surgery, there appears to be the first step of getting healthy and then another important step after that to be successful. Felipe Paulino found out about that second step as he struggled through the '14 campaign before being placed on the disabled list Saturday, and it's an issue where John Danks can relate.

Danks worked his way back from season-ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery in '12 to make a healthy return in '13. But even though he felt good, he wasn't quite good enough on the mound.

"There's a difference in being able to throw it and how you are throwing it," Danks said. "If you happen to rare back and put everything you have into it, you lose movement and you lose command. You can shoot a ball out of a cannon and a big league hitter will hit it. You can't throw hard enough.

"But once he gets to the point where he's strengthened enough to command his 95 [mph fastball], he'll be back where we expect him to be. It's hard to watch Paulino struggle like that. He's a great teammate. He works hard. He's doing everything he knows to do to get it right. It's just not there."

The 4-14 record and 4.75 ERA for Danks over 22 starts last season was tougher than his 0-8 start in '11.

"Last year was my most frustrating year, just because I know I was capable of throwing it, but it just wasn't happening," Danks said. "I expect Felipe to get back to where he expects to be and where we want him to be."

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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