Danks: Disappointing season can turn around

Danks: Disappointing season can turn around

ST. LOUIS -- Nobody has more White Sox service time on the current roster than starting pitcher John Danks. And on Tuesday evening, prior to the series opener at Busch Stadium, Danks spoke like a player who has seen it all in a conversation with MLB.com about the disappointment of the season to date.

The veteran southpaw, who has been part of the rotation since 2007, made it clear that any blame for this year's unexpected poor showing should be placed upon the players and not manager Robin Ventura.

"Robin hasn't thrown a pitch yet or taken an at-bat, made an error," Danks said. "It would be very disappointing, I would personally feel a lot of guilt, if something happened to Robin.

"He has put us in the best position to win. He doesn't scream at us on camera, but there's certainly a huge respect for Robin in here from all of us. So, none of it is his fault. He hasn't done anything to help us lose a game this year. We've all done it. That's just an extra motivation to try to turn it around and turn this season into what we thought it would be."

The White Sox featured a 32-42 record entering Tuesday, and the southpaw honestly includes himself at the top of the list of disappointments. The 30-year-old Danks will pitch again Friday against the Orioles at home, after having his Saturday start skipped due to a weather postponement in Detroit.

A 3-8 record with a 5.38 ERA stands as sufficient enough consternation for Danks. But he's also bothered by eight of his 14 starts lasting less than six innings.

"I've been one of the main components into why this season has gone this way," Danks said. "I've had a couple of good games, but I've had some games blow up in my face, where I didn't give us much of a chance to win, and had to kill the bullpen, at that.

"So, I'm going have to pitch better. It's been a very disappointing season to this point. All I know to do is to keep working and get ready for Baltimore and go from there. Certainly I need to turn this around."

In 2011, the White Sox went "all in" with their impact offseason moves and had high expectations tumble into a 79-83 finish. Danks said that's the only season comparable to the 2015 campaign to date, but Danks still holds out hope this year can turn around.

"For all we know, today is the turnaround and we'll get on a roll," Danks said. "We have nobody to blame but ourselves. We haven't played consistent baseball.

"But the beauty of it is we still have three months to go. We are only half-way. If we can play as well the second half as we played as bad the first half, we like our chances. Certainly nobody has given up. Nobody doesn't think that we can play our way back into it, and that's the goal."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.