5/20/2013 8:31 P.M. ET
Ventura sends good thoughts to tornado victims
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Robin Ventura spent his college years at Oklahoma St. in Stillwater, Okla., so he had some understanding of the horrific tornadoes touching down around Oklahoma City.
"We had a couple of them when I was at school. It's scary," Ventura said. "I was from California, so I didn't know anything about it. I think '99 was the last one and it hit the same area. It's scary and there's nothing you can do about it."
Scouts on lookout for players who can make impact
CHICAGO -- The marching orders from general manager Rick Hahn for the White Sox pro scouts on the road remain the same from what they were in Spring Training.
Find players that can enhance the White Sox chances to contend for the postseason. That's the attitude Hahn will follow until this team returns to full strength and plays together or he has reason to go in a different direction.
"Our pro scouts are out looking for guys who can help the 2013 team," Hahn said. "Again, until we get this team back and give them the opportunity to play together and for an extended period of time, there's no need to make that judgment.
"Everyone deals with injuries. It is a test of depth for everyone over the course of a long season. At the same time, we're not making any judgments on this team until we have everyone we can reasonably expected to have back healthy playing and give this team a chance to play at the level they're capable of playing."
That chance might come as soon as this weekend, with John Danks a possibility to start Friday against the Marlins and Gordon Beckham knocking out five hits in two Minor League rehab games. The White Sox certainly haven't fallen out of contention while dealing with injuries that include season-ending surgery for Gavin Floyd to repair the ulnar collateral ligament and a torn flexor muscle in his pitching elbow.
The White Sox's defense has steadied over the past week and their struggling offense hit .299 on the recently completed seven-game road trip, despite hitting just .212 with runners in scoring position. A chance exists that Chicago doesn't completely turn things around and become sellers before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
It's an idea Hahn is well aware of but not currently entertaining.
"There's always that possibility," Hahn said, "but we're 42 games in to the season at this point, and we are a long way off from making any definitive change in direction towards selling guys off.
"Is it possible? Sure, but the marching orders now for our scouts hasn't changed from what they were at the end of Spring Training, which is to look for players that we feel can help make the 2013 team stronger and in a better position to win a championship."
News on Danks, Beckham positive but not definitive
CHICAGO -- The White Sox have not officially set their starting rotation for this weekend's series against the Marlins, but there's a strong possibility that John Danks could make his 2013 big league debut Friday night.
Danks was with the team in Chicago on Monday after making his fourth Minor League rehab start Saturday in Buffalo and was to meet with general manager Rick Hahn, manager Robin Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper about his next move.
"We'll have a plan midweek and announce what the next step will be," said Hahn of Danks. "We'll have him around for the next couple days, probably throw a [side session] with Coop."
"The ultimate decision is about what's best for his long-term health and what's best for the competitiveness of the Major League club. You root for a guy who has worked as hard as he has and you want him to be ready in all the things to line up as quick as possible, but at the end of the day, the decisions are dictated by any injured player's long-term health as well as win as many games as we can in Chicago."
Danks has been on the disabled list since the start of the season, as he regained arm strength following season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder Aug. 6. Hahn didn't see Danks' two hit batsmen and four walks Saturday for Triple-A Charlotte as a point to worry about on the comeback trail.
"Anytime a guy is on a rehab assignment, I don't think you should put too much into their performance," Hahn said. "Obviously they're there to hopefully perform well, but their real goal is to get through the work healthy and to work on the elements of their mechanics and hitch or swing adjustments that they're there to work on and get themselves back to 100 percent and game ready.
"So while the walk number in recent starts is higher than we hoped, hopefully it will be higher than he'll wind up doing when he comes back to Chicago. It's really not a performance evaluation we're making. It's more about health and mechanics."
Gordon Beckham continued his Minor League rehab for Charlotte on Monday, getting a rare start at shortstop. He had five hits over starts at designated hitter and second base, with Ventura mentioning Monday that Beckham could rejoin the team this weekend as well.
"Sometime by the end of the week you would think, but again, you never know how that hand is going to react," said Ventura of Beckham and his recovery from a fractured left hamate bone. "It's probably been sore because this is the first time he's been hitting on a daily basis. You would hope so, but nothing's guaranteed."
Konerko feels as if he's getting close
CHICAGO -- Paul Konerko feels as if he swung the bat well during the past couple of days, but for a cerebral All-Star caliber performer such as the captain, the hits aren't always the sign of being in a good spot.
"I had a few hits the day before yesterday and was probably better yesterday and didn't get any," said Konerko, who entered Monday's game hitting .224 with four homers and 17 RBIs. "In this game, close and the results are kind of two different things.
"There has been lot of moments that you're close and it feels like you got it, but sometimes that has to line up with somebody not catching a ball, the wind not knocking down a ball -- those little moments where that can kind of turn it for you. That hasn't happened."
Konerko also knows that for a hitter to be good in this league, he has to be dialed in and in control of what he's got going on for eight out of every 10 at-bats.
"That's to probably hit four balls sharply and to get about three balls of that to be hits," Konerko said. "You have to be dialed in, and I'm just trying to work to that consistency where you're in control of what you're doing every time up there.
"I've had a lot of normal games lately that I can have in the middle of a hot streak that turned out to be a 1-for-4 or 1-for-3 or 0-for-4, and it's like, 'Hey, that's as good as I could do it.' It's just been surrounded by a lot of bad ones. I've been there before, and I've been worse than I am now -- I can tell you that."
Third to first
• Whether the wind is blowing in or out at U.S. Cellular, a power hitter such as Adam Dunn doesn't adjust his swing.
"My swing never changes, although people would like it to," Dunn said. "It doesn't."
• Ventura had high praise for Juan Nieves, the Red Sox's pitching coach, who previously served as the White Sox bullpen coach for five seasons.
"It's not surprising. He's a good communicator, positive, and he's very intelligent," said Ventura of Nieves. "He just has a good way of relaying information, having been there before.
"Even for us, we had a lot of rookie guys out in the bullpen thriving with him, so it's not a surprise to us that he's doing well."