John Danks vows to be ready

GLENDALE, Ariz. – It was yet another step forward in the rehab of John Danks on Saturday as the left-hander got on the field to face hitters for the first time.

Danks was supposed to take the field in his previous outing but inclement weather forced him to pitch inside of a batting cage against hitters.

It didn’t turn out exactly how Danks had hoped, as he was talking to himself out on the mound, but it was the act of building arm strength is what was important.

“It was a positive day; it’s coming,” Danks said. “I feel like I’m throwing a little harder. It’s coming around. The breaking ball left a little to be desired but that’s not uncommon for this time of year.”

Danks continues to admit that the White Sox’s deliberate pace for his rehab has him antsy, but he is willing to follow the program.

“It’s so new to me, the whole rehab process and coming back, obviously I’m trying to push the envelope, but I have to really just rely on (everybody) to make sure I’m where I want to be,” Danks said. “I’ve asked to throw more. Can I do (more)? They’re happy with where I’m at and things are improving so I’m just going to stay the course.”

Danks still has a few more throwing sessions planned before he takes the mound for the first time in a Cactus League game. He is scheduled to pitch March 4 against the San Francisco Giants.

The White Sox have not yet committed to having Danks break camp with the team or leave him behind to continue his rehab. Danks, though, sees no reason why he should remain in the desert when the team leaves for Chicago.

“I don’t know what number (in the rotation), but I have no doubt I’ll be on the Opening Day roster,” he said. “It’s not my job to make the order of the rotation, but I definitely see myself being in the first five this year.”