ST. LOUIS -- The White Sox have signed 24 of their 41 selections from the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. That list includes first baseman Keon Barnum, selected 48th overall in Compensation Round A, and every player selected in the first 10 rounds except outfielder Courtney Hawkins (13th pick overall, first round), right-handed pitcher Kyle Hansen (sixth round) and catcher Jose Barraza (seventh round).
Most of these players will start out with Bristol or Great Falls at the Advanced Rookie level, but some eventually could get promoted to Class A Kannapolis before the season is over.
Danks hurls four innings in rehab start
ST. LOUIS -- Left-hander John Danks took another successful step toward his return to the White Sox starting rotation by hurling four innings and 61 pitches for Triple-A Charlotte during a Minor League rehab effort in Columbus on Tuesday afternoon.
Danks allowed three runs on four hits, but two errors by third baseman Ray Olmedo contributed to two of those runs being unearned. Danks struck out one and walked one, throwing 34 of his pitches for strikes.Manager Robin Ventura knows that the left shoulder strain placing Danks on the disabled list retroactive to May 20 is healing nicely, and Danks, who rejoined the team for Tuesday's 6-1 victory in St. Louis, feels normal.
"It's a step in the right direction and we'll just keep going," said Ventura of Danks' start.
"There was a little bit of rust," Danks said, "but I'll get on the mound here and I'll be fine. The biggest thing is being healthy and feeling good, and I do. We'll see how it feels tomorrow and go from there."As of Tuesday, the club's weekend rotation in Los Angeles is set at Chris Sale, Philip Humber and Jose Quintana. Much of Danks' next step will depend on how he feels after Tuesday's return to live action, but Ventura seemed to be leaning toward another rehab start for the left-hander.
"I would like him to have one more just to make sure, and not make it a nine-inning, knock down drag out," Ventura said. "But it's more about how he's feeling. Eventually, yes, he's going to come back. But I don't know about the next start.""I'd love to get off the DL and get back at it," Danks said. "It's not my decision to make. For sure I feel like I'm ready to come back after today."
McEwing fond of playing days in St. Louis
ST. LOUIS -- The nickname "Super Joe" attached to energetic White Sox third-base coach Joe McEwing was bestowed upon him by Eric Davis when the two played together for the Cardinals in 1999.
But the Cardinals' 28th-round pick in the 1992 First-Year Player Draft has greater memories of his two years in St. Louis than his moniker.
"It's always nice coming back, coming up with the organization and giving me the opportunity in the big leagues for the first time," McEwing said. "I spent one year and a month here before being traded, but a lot of good memories of the stadium and a great baseball town and a great baseball city and it started my career. I'm very thankful."
McEwing formed a strong bond with Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, and McEwing admitted it would be weird not to see La Russa in the dugout across the way because he was a staple there for such a long time.
"Really, it's weird to not see him in any dugout but especially here," McEwing said. "It's different but, it's rich in tradition and [manager Mike Matheny] does a great job and will continue to do a great job."
Matheny eventually was chosen to replace La Russa, but McEwing was held in high enough esteem that the three-year manager in the White Sox Minor League system also received an interview for the vacant Cardinals job. It's a position McEwing would like to hold one day, but right now, he's enjoying his work as part of Robin Ventura's first staff.
"I'm thankful that [team chairman Jerry] Reinsdorf, Robin has given me the opportunity, [GM] Kenny [Williams], to be on the staff and I'm enjoying every single day and learning every single day," McEwing said. "I learn a lot from Robin and I'm in no hurry and thankful for the opportunity.
"They came to me and I was very humbled and honored to be thought of in that light as one of the possible candidates to manage a Major League club. At the end of the day, it was a great opportunity and a great experience."
Morel to see another back specialist
ST. LOUIS -- Third baseman Brent Morel is scheduled to see another doctor in Los Angeles this week after seeing a spine specialist in Chicago on Monday, according to White Sox manager Robin Ventura.Morel, on the disabled list since May 18 for a lumbar back strain, was taking part in a Minor League injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte but pulled himself out of a game after one at-bat last Thursday.
On Sunday, Morel said there were a few pain-free games with the Knights, but the pain grew increasingly worse with his stint. Morel continues to deal with back pain and the frustration of not quite knowing the next course of action.
"Anybody who is hurt is frustrated because you don't know," Ventura said. "You are not a doctor but you know what it feels like and it's hard for them to find it or explain it. I understand it's frustrating. It's scary all at the same time. Again, I just want him to get whatever he needs to get done and get it solved."
Third to first
St. Louis native Cliff Politte, who posted a 2.00 ERA in 68 games for the 2005 World Series champion White Sox, was in attendance Tuesday with his family.
Dan Johnson launched two homers and drove in five during Triple-A Charlotte's 13-6 victory over Columbus on Tuesday. Johnson has 17 homers and 52 RBIs, having played 11 games at third base for the Knights with two errors committed.
The White Sox have hit 45 homers in their last 26 games. Orlando Hudson's two-run triple during Tuesday's 6-1 win over the Cardinals leaves him tied with Melky Cabrera for the Major League lead in that category at seven.
As a team, the White Sox are 4-for-24 in pinch-hit opportunities.
Adam Dunn has homered in three straight games for the first time since June 8-10, 2010 with the Nationals. He passed Dwight Evans for 57th all-time on the home run list at 386.