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Pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training at Camelback Ranch for the White Sox yesterday. And, as usual, there are already plenty of stories to report.

John Danks is now on pace to surpass Chris Sale as the White Sox ace, and steam roll his way into the 2014 AL Cy Young conversation. After all, Danks himself said that he “feels like he’s 18 again”. So we, as Sox fans, can only assume he will perform a complete 180 from last season, and return to his pre-injury/pre-surgery game 163 magic in 2008 glory, right?

I’m obviously being silly with the previous paragraph. But, in all seriousness, what if Danks’ 1st day of Spring Training optimism actually comes to fruition? Now, we hear 1st day of Spring Training optimistic stories every season, as do fans of every MLB team. I mean, how many times have you heard that “this is the year Gordon Beckham puts everything together”? Too many times for sure.

But what if Danks can revive his pre-injury capabilities? Then all the talk of the Sox having a really good starting staff may actually be true. Chris Sale is Chris Sale, enough said. And it would be great if Jose Quintana can continue his meteoric rise up the “quality left-handed starters depth chart” he’s been climbing for a couple years now.

Erik Johnson impressed in 2013, and will need to again in 2014, especially considering he’ll be one of only two right-handed starters in the Sox rotation, a rarity for sure.

Felipe Paulino and Andre Rienzo will fight for the fifth starter’s role, and both can potentially be very good.

But what about Danks? He threw batting practice almost every time he went out to the mound in 2013. Some say while he lacked the velocity last year, he was able to learn how to really pitch, and somehow, managed to still have good command of his change up, Danks best pitch.

18 months post-surgery, Danks claims to be completely healthy, and is ready for the season to start. Will he be penciled in as the number 3 or 4 starter? More than likely 4, as Erik Johnson, a right-hander, will probably follow the 2 lefties.

And if Danks can be a 4, that performs like a 2 or a 3? All the better, setting the Sox up for a magical World Series run in 2014. Assuming, of course, that Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia, Adam Eaton, and Matt Davidson also live up to expectations.

Posted from WordPress for Android Brian Madsen BMad

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