9/21/2013 7:39 P.M. ET
Left-hander Veal finishing 2013 with a flourish
By Bobby Nightengale / MLB.com
DETROIT -- After being sent down to the Minor Leagues twice this season, left-handed reliever Donnie Veal has made the most of his latest opportunity with the White Sox.
In Veal's last 17 appearances, he's allowed one run on five hits over 9 1/3 innings while striking out 13. For him, it was just a matter of gaining more confidence on the mound.
"I'm throwing more strikes now. I'm just going straight after hitters, I'm not really worried about giving up hits or anything like that," Veal said. "I think earlier in the year, I was a lot more timid, trying to hit more corners and trying to be too fine with pitches instead of just attacking the zone and going right after them."
Veal struggled at the beginning of the season, giving up seven earned runs on 11 hits in 7 1/3 innings by the end of May. He was then sent down to Triple-A Charlotte for nearly two months to work with pitching coach Richard Dotson.
"I got maybe a little technical with some of my pitches and not going after everything," Veal said. "After I got sent down again, I just worked on that attacking, and the results are results and whatever happens, happens. Up to this point, I can attack and be as aggressive as I need to be with my delivery and my pitches, so that's what I've been doing ever since and it seems to be working."
Left-hander Danks looks to start '14 even stronger
DETROIT -- While John Danks didn't have the successful season he hoped for, he will enter the offseason with a healthy shoulder and big goals for the 2014 season.
Manager Robin Ventura said Danks probably won't pitch in the last week of the season after throwing 138 1/3 innings.
"It is what it is," Danks said. "It's been a lot of throwing over the last year, so it makes sense given where we are obviously. You want to play but at the same time, you understand it. I'm looking forward to having a normal offseason."
Danks said he started throwing before Halloween last year in an attempt to be ready by Opening Day following season-ending shoulder surgery on Aug. 6. However, he wasn't quite ready and was forced to begin in the Minor Leagues before joining the club in May. He then went 4-14 with a 4.75 ERA and 89 strikeouts over 22 starts with the White Sox.
"He's going to get better and stronger the further he is away from his surgery," Ventura said. "You hope he can get that feel back that he had before. That's something I think will get better."
After showing flashes of his former self throughout the year, he went 0-4 with an 8.02 ERA in his last four outings, giving up 19 earned runs in 21 1/3 innings.
"I felt fine. For whatever reason, I just wasn't able to consistently keep the ball down and make it do what I wanted," Danks said. "Maybe that is a part of fatigue or whatever, but it's hard to say it was a successful season. But I'm back, and definitely looking to build on the positives and work on the things I need to work on, and I fully anticipate having a good year next year."
Danks will continue working out with the team for the last week of the season before taking a few weeks off. His goal for next season is to pitch 200 innings, a mark he's topped twice in his career (2009 and '10).
"I think part of the problem was at times I was making myself throw 90-92 mph, whereas when I was healthy, it just came out and the ball had a little more life on it, and I was able to keep the ball down a little more consistently," Danks said. "It's part of it. I know it's still in there, and I'm able to do it. With a full offseason and the right throwing programs and stuff, I think I can get back to where I was, if not better."
Semien makes first start at shortstop
DETROIT -- After playing 73 games at shortstop in the Minor Leagues this season, Marcus Semien made his first Major League start at the position on Saturday.
"I don't know if it's his natural spot but again, you're trying to see how flexible guys can be, where they can play and how comfortable they are there," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He has played a little bit in the Minor Leagues, but we're kind of looking how it's going for next year and being able to slip him in there."
It's a chance for Semien to prove himself as the White Sox have both their middle infielders (second baseman Gordon Beckham and shortstop Alexei Ramirez ) under contract for 2014, but Ramirez was a part of trade speculation throughout the summer. Entering Saturday, Semien was 11-for-35 (.314) with two doubles and three RBIs.
The White Sox had five rookies in Saturday's starting lineup against the Tigers: Leury Garcia, Conor Gillaspie, Avisail Garcia, Bryan Anderson and Semien. According to STATS, the last time the White Sox used five rookies in a starting lineup was Sept. 5, 2007, which was also against the Tigers.
"I think where we're at right now, we're being able to put some guys out there and see how they perform," Ventura said. "That's part of the situation we put ourselves in, but having these guys up here, putting them around in different spots and seeing how they perform, that's something going into next year."
White Sox acquire left-handed prospect from Rays
DETROIT -- The White Sox acquired left-handed reliever Frank De Los Santos through a trade with the Rays on Saturday for a player to be named or cash.
De Los Santos will be a part of Chicago's 40-man roster, but he will not be added to the active Major League roster for the final week of the season. This move was unrelated to the trade that sent Jesse Crain to Tampa Bay in July.
The 25-year-old Dominican went 1-2 with a 5.34 ERA over 26 appearances this season with Triple-A Durham, striking out 21 in 32 innings. He dominated left-handed hitters, holding them to a .167 batting average in 41 at-bats.
De Los Santos, 6-foot and 165 pounds, didn't start playing baseball until he was 16 years old and was signed by the Rays as a free agent in 2007.
Third to first
• The blister on Andre Rienzo's pitching hand is improving. He had an adhesive bandage around the ring finger on Friday, but didn't need it on Saturday.
• Although Chris Sale has slim odds to win the American League Cy Young Award, his manager says he's a worthy candidate.
"He's as good as anybody in the league," Ventura said. "I'll put him up against anybody. Whether or not he's in that conversation, other people get to vote on that. For me, he's always going to be in the running for that kind of stuff."
Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.