John Danks took the mound for his first game-like pitching sit..."/> John Danks took the mound for his first game-like pitching sit..."/>

Danks returns to the mound, with nothing to panic about yet


John Danks took the mound for his first game-like pitching situation since mid-June of 2012. There are a lot of seemingly notable steps between now and it being agreed that the Danks of old is alive and well, and this is certainly one of them. His series of successful, pain-free throwing sessions taught us not to expect disaster, and sure enough Danks tossed 35 functional pitches

John Danks’ last start of the 2012 season saw him throw 6.1 shutout innings, it was the soreness that he woke up with the next day that put him on the disabled list for good. So it’s more than a joke when Danks says that “The test will be tomorrow and the next day.”

Still, for someone as eager as Danks to declare himself satisfied with the outing shows that the bar for the first time on the mound didn’t extend much past getting comfortable on the mound.

That velocity is down there a bit, and the first spring training start after a nine month, surgery-induced layoff is the best excuse for that anyone could ever ask for. It does, however, offer a view to how Danks could be progressing comfortably without notable setbacks, and still be in a situation where the Sox would want to see him show more strength before they threw him into the rotation.

Simon Castro looking interesting

Approaching ‘forgotten man’ status at the beginning of the spring, Simon Castro wrapped up what was probably the most electrifying stretch of White Sox pitching of the exhibition season on Monday, striking out five batters in two innings of work. The hard, sinking plane of his fastball coming out of his 6’5″ frame is a lot to deal with when he’s commanding it.

This ranks among the most interesting things Castro has done since joining the organization. There’s no clear path to him grabbing any spot starts any time soon, which is good, since it would best to see if he can hold his own in Triple-A for once before thinking about him again.

Crain strains hip

Instead of having Jesse Crain miss a week or so of action to pitch in the World Baseball Classic, the White Sox will be able to simulate having Crain leave for a week or so for the World Baseball Classic by having him sit out with a hip strain. For Crain, a two-time participant in the tournament, the timing is ridiculously unfortunate. For those that would wish to keep Crain in camp, the timing is suspiciously convenient.

My bet is that the injury legitimately stopped Crain in his track, since he was besought with oblique strains last season.

Keon Barnum sidelined once more

After getting shut down after 13 games last year for shoulder problems, the 2012 supplemental round draft pick is looking down a six-week recovery to have the hamate bone removed from his wrist. If it’s any comfort, Pando Sandoval never plays with those things anymore. More playing time lost for Barnum is distressing, though

Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan