4/19/2014 10:01 P.M. ET
Danks feels Paulino's pain
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
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."
Paulino goes on DL with rotator cuff inflammation
ARLINGTON -- Felipe Paulino was placed on the 15-day disabled list prior to Saturday's contest with the Rangers due to right rotator cuff inflammation.
Paulino had previously talked about feeling healthy in his comeback attempt from ulnar collateral ligament replacement surgery in July, '12 and then having a cyst removed from his shoulder last September. But the right-hander, who has struggled mightily over his four White Sox starts, admitted Saturday that he has felt the soreness for a little bit.
"It's something that's going to be for me for a little while. I try to fight with this," Paulino said. "I can't pitch or function right now. It started bothering me more and more and more.
"I just tried to maybe take a little rest right now. And I'm thinking it will be better for me to rest right now. My shoulder has a little soreness every time."
Through 18 1/3 innings, Paulino, 30, has posted a 0-2 record with an 11.29 ERA. His tough times culminated with Friday's debacle, when he yielded 10 runs on 13 hits over 3 2/3 innings as part of a 12-0 loss to the Rangers at Globe Life Park.
Manager Robin Ventura said Saturday that Paulino wasn't able to make his side sessions from his last start to Friday's, which went into Ventura's decision to use infielder Leury Garcia on the mound in the 14th inning Wednesday against Boston instead of Paulino. Ventura added that the thinking was the soreness would go away, and it's also safe to assume that it's easier for Paulino to follow his normal preparatory schedule for a start Friday as opposed to quickly getting ready out of the bullpen.
"He just needs to get better," said Ventura of Paulino. "That's part of getting treated up and then get back to work with Coop [White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper] once he's able to do some side work."
Andre Rienzo was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte and figures to take Paulino's rotation spot Wednesday in Detroit. But if Rienzo is needed in the next day or two in long relief, then the White Sox will worry about that start as the day gets closer.
There's no timetable for Paulino's return, aside from trying to get him in top pitching form.
"My confidence is there. I had a long road back," Paulino said. "Last year was long for me. What happened for me this year just to make it, just to be in games, is good."
"We'll just keep monitoring it," Ventura said. "We'll see how he feels, to get him better where he is actually able to do a sideline and work on stuff."
Eaton exits game with mild hamstring strain
ARLINGTON - Adam Eaton exited Saturday's 6-3 loss to the Rangers after the top of the fifth inning with what was diagnosed as a mild left hamstring strain.
Eaton hit a grounder to second off Rangers starter Colby Lewis, but couldn't really get out of the batter's box and stopped about four steps short of first base before walking to first to finish the play. First-base coach Daryl Boston immediately waved to the dugout, as Eaton crouched in pain.
One pitch earlier, Eaton collided with first baseman Prince Fielder on a foul ground ball. But the problem stemmed from Friday night, when Eaton suffered a lower body injury while rounding first on a leadoff single. He tweaked that same area on Saturday.
"Yesterday did not help," Eaton said. "The ankle was kind of bothering me after that. The hamstring was bothering me a little bit after that also. But I knew today was going to be kind of a struggle, but of course I wanted to be like a hockey player and battle through it.
"The first two at-bats I wanted to make sure I took it easy so I wasn't really sprinting, 85 percent or so. The third at-bat, I tried to get on it out of the box and it felt like someone was strumming the bottom of the hamstring. Precautionary to take me out and make sure I get some treatment."
Manager Robin Ventura expects Eaton to be out at least three games. Eaton hopes to be back in the lineup after one.
"I need to make sure that I take care of the body a little better and we'll be just fine," Eaton said. "Make sure we pay a little more attention to it and take care of things and take care of what makes me run, which is my legs."
Rienzo surprised but excited
ARLINGTON -- The call from Triple-A Charlotte manager Joel Skinner to Andre Rienzo came at approximately 3 a.m. Saturday morning. And the right-handed hurler was quickly on his way from Charlotte to Arlington, Texas.
"I did not expect it really," said Rienzo with a broad smile.
Rienzo, 25, was 0-2 with 4.85 ERA in three starts with the Knights this season. He has allowed 15 hits, walked eight and struck out nine, after going 2-3 with a 4.82 ERA in 10 starts for the White Sox last season.
Charlotte pitching coach Richard Dotson has worked with Rienzo on lowering his arm angle upon delivery. Although it's not much of a change, Rienzo notices the difference.
"Just a little bit," said Rienzo of the change. "I try to sink the ball more and [be] consistent with more strikes, breaking ball strikes. Keep doing it and see if the results come. I feel good. The curveball, it's strikes more, so that's important."
Ramirez not focused on streaking
ARLINGTON -- Helping the White Sox win games took complete precedence over the franchise-record 17 game hitting to start a season put together by Alexei Ramirez, which ended during Saturday's 6-3 loss to the Rangers.
But in the ninth inning Thursday, with the streak on the line against Boston closer Koji Uehara and the White Sox trailing by two, Ramirez briefly thought about his run of offensive success.
"In the case of the Boston game, yes I thought about it when I went in there," said Ramirez through translator and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz. "There is a big God out there looking out for me. It helped me a whole bunch.
"I'm thinking about the team first. What I'm doing is there, but first of all I'm thinking about the team. Everything else comes second."
Dating back to Sept. 24, 2013, Ramirez owned a 21-game hitting streak that is the 10th longest in White Sox history (non single season). Carlos Lee holds the franchise mark of 28 in 2004.
Ramirez, who was a career .231 hitter over 128 games in March/April, exited Saturday's 0-for-4 showing with a .357 average.
"He was hot. He was swinging and hitting stuff hard. Even last night, he battles every time up there," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Ramirez. "Eventually those things come to an end, and somebody like him, he'll start one tomorrow. I don't think this is going to bother him as far as it's going to change anything."
Third to first
• Right-handed pitcher Tommy Hanson, who signed a Minor League contract with the White Sox on April 7, has been assigned to Charlotte. The move for the 27-year-old, who has a 3.86 career in 123 games of which 121 are starts, follows a stint at extended Spring Training.
• Matt Davidson hit his first homer for Charlotte during Saturday night's contest against Gwinnett.
• Danks had words of praise and admiration for Mark Buehrle, his mentor and former teammate. With seven shutout innings thrown Saturday against the Indians, Buehrle now stands at 4-0 with a 0.64 ERA in four starts. Buehrle has yielded two earned runs in 28 innings and has yet to give up a homer.
"He's always been great and fun to watch, but it's fun for me to be able to watch him go out and pitch the way he has," Danks said. "He's one of my best buddies in the world. I owe him a lot of credit for where I am. He's doing something right. I don't know what. He's looking good."
• Second baseman Micah Johnson is now hitting .356 for Double-A Birmingham.