7/4/2014 7:39 P.M. ET
Ventura sticking with Abreu third
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu started his 42nd game in the third spot of the White Sox lineup Friday, one more than Conor Gillaspie. Manager Robin Ventura likes the versatility both players' offensive skill sets provide.
"There are times when I think we're better off with [Abreu] batting third," Ventura said. "And there are times, when Conor's swinging it good and depending on the matchup, it's nice to have Conor in front of him, get some more guys on base when he gets up there. I don't think there's any set way to do it with him but I know I like guys on when [Abreu] comes to the plate.
"Conor makes solid contact. Maybe not the home runs, even though he hit one the other day. As far as him putting it in play and getting it on the barrel, he's as good as we have. Abreu can bat anywhere. I wouldn't necessarily bat him leadoff, but other than that, any spot in the lineup would be a good one. You want him to get up there more times than not with guys on base."
Danks not dwelling on what future will bring
CHICAGO -- John Danks doesn't dwell on matters that he can't control.
So any rumors of his potential departure from the White Sox over the next month leading up to the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31 certainly won't affect the veteran's mound preparation or occupy any of his daily thoughts.
"I really don't even keep up with it. That's the honest truth," said Danks of trade rumors. "If it's going to happen, it's going to happen.
"There's nothing I can do about it. I would love to spend my whole career here but it's a business and I fully understand that. I've been traded before. It's part of it. Fingers crossed that I'm able to stick around here."
Danks, 29, has six teams where he can block a trade as part of his five-year, $65 million deal that still has two years at $28.50 million remaining total after this season. The veteran hurler is healthy and helping stabilize the White Sox rotation with seven of his last eight starts lasting at least six innings and with two earned runs or less allowed.
Those strong outings of course bode well for the White Sox, but also could make Danks a person of interest for other more prime contenders than the South Siders, who started Friday 10 games out of first in the American League Central. Danks is not the only White Sox name that figures to be mentioned as possible trade targets, potentially joined by infielders Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez, designated hitter Adam Dunn and outfielders Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo.
Nobody is untouchable, as general manager Rick Hahn has mentioned previously, although Chris Sale, Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia and Jose Quintana certainly would fit that classification. Danks hopes to stay with the White Sox as of Aug. 1, Sept. 1 and Oct. 1, for that matter, but won't think about the alternatives.
"It's just something we'll have to deal with if it comes, but like I said, that's the furthest thing from my mind," Danks said. "I feel like I'm somewhat coming into my own, and I'm trying to ride it out as long as we can. But yeah, I feel great right now and I'm happy to be contributing here."
White Sox like what they see after three months
CHICAGO -- The record is not quite where the White Sox would like it to be after three months of baseball. But they definitely like the feel of the team assembled for the 2014 campaign.
"It has been a good change as far as just being in every game, being in every moment, competing throughout the games," White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers said. "I guess we did that for a fair bit of games last year but I don't know if we necessarily did that for every game.
"There was a lot of disappointment. Frustration going around and obviously a lot of that is still part of the game. But this team seems to kind of move past that really without giving it any thought and just continues to compete and fight throughout every game."
Flowers had no guess as to whether the White Sox would add or subtract with the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching. He has been with the White Sox long enough to know they are always pushing the envelope to make this team better "now and in the future."
"I'm sure if that opportunity presents itself, they won't hesitate to at least explore it," Flowers said. "But I guess we really can't worry about it too much.
"Everyone has enjoyed the group of guys we have here. I think we are definitely capable of winning more games than we have thus far. A couple of things haven't gone our way in a few games."
Third to first
• Ventura said that there's something special about baseball and the Fourth of July.
"It's always a fun day," Ventura said. "Driving here, you see everybody going to barbeques and then the beach. Baseball's a part of it. People come out to the game and it's always a fun day for the players. Guys get excited about it."
• The White Sox are 7-2-1 in their last 10 season series with the Mariners.
• Danks and Jose Quintana are tied for fifth in the AL with 13 quality starts.