NEW YORK -- John Danks chalked up "frustrating" control problems Tuesday night as just one of those nights. The good thing is, his shoulder still feels great and his velocity was more consistent than his first minor league rehab outing.
"It wasn't awful it wasn't great,'' Danks said of his five-walk performance for AAA Charlotte in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday. "The stuff was a little better, a lot more consistent. I was able to make the ball do what I wanted to do, even more consistent than the last time. I was able to make the cutter do what I wanted, and my changeup was good.''
Danks' velocity on his fastball was 88-91. There was less disparity on it this time.
"I just wasn't real sharp. Just one of those days where I was all over the place a little bit. And the weather was kind of [crappy]. It was a good day, I got through it, threw all the pitches I wanted to. It was a positive day. Just continue to get feel for all my pitches. Just have to tighten the strings, put it all together.''
Command hadn't been a problem for Danks, who had shoulder surgery last August and is on pace to rejoin the Sox after one or two more minor league starts. General manager Rick Hahn was in Columbus to watch Danks pitch.
"Control really hasn't been an issue to this point so I'm not really concerned about the walks but it was frustrating last night,'' Danks said. "You know, those things happen.
"I think it's just more stuff, trying to hone in on it a little bit. I think it was a good sign that my velocity was a lot more consistent from start to finish. The cutter was a good pitch. Last year [before going in the disabled list in May], I wasn't always able to make the cutter do what I wanted to. So, to regain feel for that and make it do what I want, that's a big pitch for me because it plays off my changeup big-time.''
As for his fastball, Danks said he looked at the stadium radar readings at every pitch "and there weren't many heaters under 88, 87. I looked up and saw a couple of 90s so we're getting there.''
That should be sufficient when he returns to the Sox.
"Yeah, I think so. If I take that stuff down, with just halfway decent command, I think I have a chance. That's not too far from where I'm at normally,'' he said. "Obviously there were times when I'd get it a little higher than that. I think that will be plenty.''
He said his shoulder felt good the day after, and he likes how the ball felt coming out of his hand.
"Everything is progressing. I'm coming along, I'm on an upswing still,'' he said.
"Dr. Romeo told me I probably won't feel 100 percent to where I was close to a year [from surgery in August]. That could be the next start, no one knows. But he warned me there will be days still where things are a little different still But I'm feeling closer and closer to normal. Last night no pain, the ball was coming out good. I just wasn't throwing it where I wanted to throw it.''
As you'd expect, Danks is champing at the bit to get with his teammates, who have struggled to a 13-18 start.
"Fortunately, we've pitched well,'' he said. "Hector [Santiago] and Dylan [Axelrod] have taken a little of the pressure off but at the same time I want to be there. I'm tired of not being there. I want to be there. Whenever they're ready to have me back I'll be glad to be back.''