GLENDALE, Ariz. - After throwing live batting practice on Saturday morning, John Danks declared himself ready for Opening Day.
It was only Feb. 23, and Danks had trouble snapping off decent breaking pitches, but he said he has no doubts he'll be on the 25-man roster that breaks camp in five weeks.
"I don't know what number [in the rotation] but I have no doubt I'll be there on the Opening Day roster,'' Danks 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.''
I likely number is fifth in the rotation, which would pit Danks against the Mariners on April 6. Danks will make his first Cactus League start on March 4.
A popular school of thought has Danks, who had shoulder surgery in August, not being rushed into action and joining the rotation a few weeks into the season. Danks, who barked out Jake Peavy style in frustration after a few of his pitches, would flunk out of that school.
"I've said all along patience is not one of my virtues,'' he said. "It was the breaking ball and I had trouble making the cutter do what I wanted it to do. But the most important thing is I felt good and I'm feeling better each time out. So that's a positive thing.
"It was a positive day; it's coming. I feel like I'm throwing a little harder. The breaking ball left a little to be desired but that's not uncommon for this time of year.''
While acknowledging the newness of going through a rehab process, Danks said he is pushing the envelope pushing forward, "but I have to rely on Herm and Coop and the doctors to make sure I'm where I need to be.
"They're happy where I'm at and see that I'm improving,'' Danks said.