6/21/2014 1:06 A.M. ET
Ventura looking at cutting down strikeouts
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- The White Sox 641 strikeouts as a team place them No. 1 in the American League for that dubious offensive category and No. 2 in the Majors behind the Marlins. Some White Sox players such as Adam Dunn are going to strike out, but balance that out by drawing free passes or having the ability to go deep.
That same theory applies to Jose Abreu, arguably the team's first-half most valuable player, who has fanned 67 times. But manager Robin Ventura said Friday that this number can be cut down as a team.
"You're really working on some two-strike approaches," Ventura said. "We start looking at it and how we do it as a team and I just think we strike out too much. A little shorten up with two strikes, put it in play. There needs to be more of that and guys have to be able to do that.
"We're hoping it can be corrected. I don't go up there and do it, but it's definitely something that we're focusing on because you have to be able to put it in play. When you start striking out this much, nobody has to play defense against you. So put it in play, put pressure on the defense."
Ventura wouldn't speak in absolutes as to whether his team could win with so many strikeouts.
"You don't have as good a chance, but you can. There's no absolutes," Ventura said. "It makes it very hard. It makes it harder."
Sale not buying into Kershaw comparisons
MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Sale didn't get a chance to watch Clayton Kershaw's no-hit masterpiece against the Rockies on Wednesday night, but he had one reaction after seeing the highlights.
"It took long enough," said Sale with a broad smile of Kershaw. "All kidding aside, that was as dominant of a start as anyone has probably ever had."
At the age of 25, in just his third full season as part of the White Sox rotation, Sale commonly is talked about as one of the best starters in the game and more specifically, one of the most dominant southpaw starters along with Kershaw. Sale laughs at the idea of being mentioned with a two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, although the numbers certainly put him in that upper echelon.
Sale approaches Monday's start in Baltimore with a 2.20 ERA over 65 1/3 innings, having fanned 75 and walked 10, and posting a 2.7 bWAR despite missing five weeks with a flexor muscle strain in his left arm. Kershaw features a 2.52 ERA in 64 1/3 innings, having struck out 86 with eight walks and a bWAR of 2.1 after also missing time to a swollen muscle in his left upper back.
Comparisons to Kershaw certainly are appreciated, but Sale knows the White Sox clubhouse will keep him honest if he starts to believe too much of the hype.
"It's stuff for my parents, my grandmother, my friends to talk about," Sale said. "Being in here, you know some of these guys pretty well being around for a while, and this would not be a good locker room for someone to be arrogant or self-promoting if you will.
"There's a lot of guys in here that keep you humble and make sure your head is screwed on straight. We talk to each other especially about pitching and baseball, but I wouldn't say that I'm by any means calling the shots or steering the car."
Danks not letting thoughts of injury creep back in
MINNEAPOLIS -- After Gavin Floyd sustained a fracture of the olecranon in his right elbow while pitching Thursday night for the Braves, John Danks texted words of encouragement to his friend and former teammate.
Danks certainly can relate to the fight back to the pitching mound put forth by Floyd following season-ending surgery last May to repair the ulnar collateral ligament and a torn flexor muscle in his right elbow. For Danks, it was arthroscopic shoulder surgery that ended his '12 campaign in August.
But as that comeback progresses and the return reaches consistent big league starts, Danks knows fear of further injury or simply a recurrence can't creep into your mind.
"All of our mindsets is we are on the mound and not thinking about mechanics or anything other than throwing the ball to the glove," Danks said. "I certainly don't want something like that creeping in. Fortunately, at this point, nothing has.
"On my rehab starts, you'd feel something, which isn't out of the ordinary for a healthy guy to feel something a little bit awkward. But you start to worry a little bit. Since I've been back here, I haven't even thought about it."
As for Floyd's latest setback, the reaction among the White Sox clubhouse was that bad things can happen to good people.
"To have something like that, it's scary," Danks said. "I have no doubts he'll be able to come back from it, but [Chris] Sale and I were talking today that there are bigger jerks that don't have [injury] stuff and Gavin being the nicest guy in the world has this stuff happen to him."
"Gavin is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet," Sale said. "It stinks that it happened, but it stinks even more that it happened to him and kind of who he is and how he is."
White Sox not going to go away quietly
MINNEAPOLIS -- With two runs scored off of Twins closer Glen Perkins in Friday's 5-4 loss to the Twins, the White Sox increased their Major League-leading ninth-inning run total to 46.
"We had a nice ninth inning to be able to fight our way back in," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
"It's great to see us battle back," said White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton, who drove home pinch-runner Moises Sierra with a game-tying double off of Perkins. "I'd like to do that in the fifth and sixth. I know it's baseball. I understand that. But we need to put more pressure on people earlier."
The White Sox are tied for the Major League lead with six walk-off wins.
Third to first
• The White Sox rank fourth in the American League with 23 multi-homer games and are 18-5 in those efforts.
• Sale, who won't pitch in this series, has a 5-1 record, with a 2.42 ERA and two saves, against the Twins. Those five wins represent his second highest win total against an individual team, trailing his six against the Royals.
• Despite the two-hour, six-minute delay making for a very long Thursday night, the White Sox knew that series opener was going to be played.
"You were more concerned about the surface than anything," Ventura said. "The way fields drain, it's pretty good. In the old days, you would have been washed out because it wouldn't drain properly."