Danks pushed back as Gonzalez starts Monday

Danks pushed back as Gonzalez starts Monday

CHICAGO -- Miguel Gonzalez will make his White Sox debut Monday night in Toronto, with the White Sox optioning right-handed pitcher Erik Johnson to Triple-A Charlotte following a 4-1 victory over the Rangers on Sunday.

The veteran right-hander, who pitched four years for the Orioles and agreed to a Minor League deal with the White Sox on the day prior to Opening Day, basically takes the turn of John Danks with all other starters moving back one day. All 246 career appearances for the 31-year-old Danks have come as a starter, but the team-first veteran served as the emergency reliever for Sunday's homestand finale at U.S. Cellular Field, though he wasn't needed to pitch.

Danks said that he's scheduled to pitch during the first game at Camden Yards in Baltimore, which is Thursday.

"Something can change between now and then, but other than that, I'm available," Danks said. "I'll just do some work, and if there's a situation that comes up that I can help, I'm available to do that."

Through three starts this season, Danks has a 0-3 record with a 6.23 ERA. He has a career 2-3 record with a 7.27 ERA over seven starts at Rogers Centre, which explains the rotation adjustment, and is 1-2 with a 4.25 ERA in five starts at Camden Yards.

In his start Thursday against the Angels, Danks bobbed and weaved out of trouble to allow two runs on five hits over six innings. He also walked five, which was as troubling as Danks pitching out of trouble signaled a step in the right direction.

"I feel fine. Just have to be better," Danks said. "That's the way it is, be more effective, be more consistent. It's not anything I didn't know. Shoot, ready to go, ready for Baltimore."

Gonzalez, 31, has allowed three runs in 11 innings for Charlotte. He was a scratch from his Friday night start in preparation for Monday.

Adding Gonzalez means adding his guaranteed money in making the Majors again. He has a 3-2 record and a 2.82 ERA at Rogers Centre during eight appearances and seven starts for the Orioles, while posting a 17-14 mark and a 3.94 ERA at Camden Yards.

This move also presents a number of future questions, such as whether Gonzalez will stay in the rotation, and if Danks eventually moves to the bullpen, who is the odd man out when the White Sox return to 12 pitchers? The starters' setup of Gonzalez, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana in Toronto stands as the lone pitching focus for the White Sox presently.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Gonzalez's status past Monday night was "to be determined."

"As of right now, I'm throwing in Baltimore," Danks said. "That's truthfully all I know."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.