John Danks decision coming soon

CHICAGO -- Nobody was giving any obvious clues Monday, but the expectation is that John Danks returns to the Chicago White Sox's rotation Friday to face the Miami Marlins.

After staying back in Arizona for extended spring training when the regular season started, Danks has made one rehab start with Double-A Birmingham and three more with Triple-A Charlotte.

At Charlotte, Danks has posted a 3.45 ERA over 15 2/3 innings, but has given up 13 hits and 12 walks. It doesn’t sound as if the walks will be held against him, though.

“Anytime a guy is on a rehab assignment, I don’t think you should put too much into their performance,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “Obviously they’re there to hopefully perform well, but their real goal is to get through the work healthy and to work on the elements of their mechanics and hitch or swing adjustments that they’re there to work on and get themselves back to 100 percent and game-ready.

“So while the walk number in recent starts is higher than we hoped, hopefully it will be higher than he’ll wind up doing when he comes back to Chicago. It’s really not a performance evaluation we’re making. It’s more about health and mechanics.”

The White Sox could make a decision on Danks’ next start as early as Monday evening, or they could wait for a few days.

“We’ll have him around for the next couple days, probably throw a sideline with (pitching coach Don Cooper),” Hahn said.

Danks has been on an emotional roller coaster first when he didn’t make the rotation out of spring training like he hoped and then being at extended spring training for as long as he was. Now he sits days away from a possible return.

“You root for a guy who has worked as hard as he has and you want him to be ready and all the things to line up as quick as possible,” Hahn said. “But at the end of the day, the decisions are dictated by any injured player’s long-term health as well as win as many games as we can in Chicago.”