4/20/2014 3:58 P.M. ET
Beckham close, but not back
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Gordon Beckham has four hits in 26 at-bats during his eight-game Minor League rehab assignment for Double-A Birmingham, including a go-ahead, two-run double Saturday night. Those results clearly don't matter as much as the second baseman having almost no complaints concerning the strained left oblique that left him on the disabled list to start the 2014 campaign.
"He said he's feeling fine," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Beckham. "It's getting better and defensively he's feeling pretty good. Offensively, whether the swing is there or not, just physically he feels pretty good. I wouldn't say it's 100 percent."
Ventura guessed at next weekend's home series against the Rays as a return date for Beckham.
"That's probably a good target day if nothing happens, talking about him being 100 percent," Ventura said. "He feels good enough to play and everything, but I don't think he feels just great. When he feels that way, you get him up here. We have four in Detroit, so hopefully he can keep playing, build that up and be ready to go after that."
Dunn unimpressed with .304 batting average
ARLINGTON -- Adam Dunn probably cares less about a .300 average than any player in baseball.
The .238 career hitter certainly has the skills to reach that level, as he entered Sunday's series finale with the Rangers batting .304. It's just that average as a statistic has and always will rank low on the priority list for the middle-of-the-order run producer.
"I could care less about it [average]," Dunn said. "Getting on base, I don't care how I do it or what not, as long as I'm getting on base. I need to drive in more runs obviously, but hopefully that will come.
"I've been feeling good all year. I'm probably finding holes, probably staying up the middle a little more. I'm not doing anything mechanically or anything different than I have for a couple of years."
Dunn entered this season knowing that he could be part of a designated-hitter platoon with Paul Konerko or at the very least, receive less at-bats against left-handed pitchers. But with Dunn hitting .417 with nine walks in his last seven games, he was in the lineup against southpaw Robbie Ross Jr.
Taking the approach of viewing every day as a start, regardless of the pitching probable, has helped keep Dunn steady at the plate.
"I'll do whatever," Dunn said. "But I come in every day expecting to play and adjust accordingly when I'm not."
"People don't understand what he brings to the table," said Rangers outfielder and former teammate Alex Rios of Dunn. "His base hits are walks. He's going to walk a lot, he's going to hit homers and he's going to bring runs in. That's his job. That's the reason people criticize him is they don't see a higher batting average and he doesn't need that. He does what he has to do and I think people don't get what his role is."
Danks wants to be less wild but equally effective
ARLINGTON -- During John Danks' 2013 struggles, in which he posted a 4.75 ERA over 138 1/3 innings, the veteran southpaw still was able to consistently find the strike zone. He walked just 27, although the counter was Danks allowed 28 home runs.
Through three starts and 19 innings this season, Danks has yielded just one home run. He also has walked 10 while striking out 13.
"Walks always kind of chap me. It's not something you want to do," Danks said. "You can't defend a walk. You are just giving a guy a free pass. But I would trade a walk for a homer, obviously.
"With the walks, if I don't get them under control, they are going to lead to a big inning. That's just what they do. That's something we are working on, but I really don't have a reason for why. I definitely would like to get that fixed sooner rather than later."
Danks felt as if he was throwing strikes during his '13 effort, marking a comeback from season-ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery in August, '12. But he didn't have good command within the strike zone.
"Balls were coming back to the middle of the plate. I was getting them up," Danks said. "And in our ballpark, you can't do that. I know that probably better than anybody here. But I really expect not to walk anybody."
Webb ready for action
ARLINGTON -- Daniel Webb threw a career-high three innings and 59 pitches during Wednesday's 14-inning loss to the Red Sox. For his troubles, the rookie right-hander was told beforehand that he wouldn't pitch Thursday against the Red Sox or in Friday's series opener against the Rangers.
Webb did warm up late in Saturday's 6-3 loss but never got into the game.
"I was feeling good last night. I'm feeling even better today," Webb said. "So it's back to normal."
While many consider Webb's great stuff as a perfect fit for the closer's role, for now he's working in any role from setup man to long relief. Webb threw 48 pitches and 2 2/3 innings on April 2 against the Twins.
"I'm still a lot more sore after three innings or 2 2/3 innings like that first time then I am after one," Webb said. "But I think you build up to it."
Third to first
• Jeff Keppinger left a recent extended Spring Training contest when his shoulder didn't feel right throwing the ball from third base.
"Some days it feels really good," said Ventura of Keppinger, who has yet to go on an injury rehab assignment. "Some days it doesn't."
• Alex Rios is enjoying life in his first full season as part of the Rangers. But he still has fond memories from his parts of five years in Chicago.
"Of course. I had a great time. I had very special moments," Rios said. "The guys are unbelievable. Like I said, I had a great time and it's a town that I love. But sometimes you have to move on and see new things and I'm glad I'm here."