Sunday, July 29, 2012

John Danks May Need Season-Ending Shoulder Surgery

The trade for Francisco Liriano came as a pleasant surprise on Saturday night.

The White Sox got another starting pitcher that they needed for the final two months of the season, and didn't have to give up much of anything to get him.*

Now, while the Sox already needed another starter to help in a rotation that included two pitchers who are already well above their career highs in innings pitched (Chris Sale and Jose Quintana) along with an inconsistent Gavin Floyd and Phil Humber, another reason this trade was necessary was also mentioned in passing on Saturday night.

The Sox don't seem very confident in John Danks being able to return this season, and a team source told Mark Gonzalez that Danks may be undergoing season-ending surgery soon.

Danks talked about the possibility with's Scott Merkin as well.

"We have to start thinking about if it's looking like I can't help this year, which I'm not saying, there is a point where you have to start looking at the bigger picture and worrying about next year," Danks said. "We have to make a move. Something has got to happen to make it start feeling better.

"Obviously, I've said it before, I thought I would be back by now. It just hasn't progressed quite like we thought it would. I don't know if we are quite to the surgery part yet. Certainly there is a time where you got to do something.

"Trust me, it's no fun sitting here and if that's the best available option to get it fixed and be ready for Spring Training, then, you know, I'm all for it. No one wants to be cut on, but if what we are doing is not working, then you have to look at other options."

So not only does this trade allow the Sox more flexibility with their starting rotation -- and allow Chris Sale to get some extra rest when necessary -- but it also provides a very nice insurance policy if Danks can't return.

And if Danks can return, well, having more starting pitching than you need isn't really a problem, is it?

*This season Kenny Williams has turned Zack Stewart, Brent Lillibridge, Eduardo Escobar, Pedro Hernandez and a couple minor leaguers you never heard of into Kevin Youkilis, Brett Myers and Francisco Liriano. He's having a pretty damn good season.

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