Danks working to better locate pitches

Danks working to better locate pitches

Danks working to better locate pitches
DETROIT -- Physically, John Danks feels fine.

There's no soreness in his shoulder, elbow or any other part of his body contributing to his 6.51 ERA through six starts. It's more of an issue of how he's throwing, a problem he has started to figure out with pitching coach Don Cooper prior to Friday's series opener with the Tigers.

"I'm just not staying on my pitches," Danks said. "I'm coming off, and I don't know if it's I'm trying to throw too hard or make the ball do too much. I just have to make it simple and get back to staying within myself.

"That's when I'm at my best. That's kind of the common denominator and theme. Every pitch we watched today, the bad ones I was coming off and the good ones I stayed behind the ball."

Danks' effectiveness never has been predicated on velocity, so he's not one who studies the radar readings for an increase or drop by a mile per hour or two. That's insignificant compared to being able to consistently locate his pitches and get ahead of hitters.

Over his last two starts, Danks really hasn't been able to accomplish either.

"I need to be able to locate and get multiple pitches over the plate," Danks said. "That's what's got me. I've gotten in hitter's counts, and when I am throwing strikes, they are not always quality strikes. I'm going to try to get back to being who I am.

"My goal has always been to be the same guy, whether I'm going good or bad. I feel like I do a pretty good job of that. Don't get me wrong, there are tough days in there for sure, but I just try to stay the same person. I'm a confident guy and I have no doubt in my mind that I'll turn this season around and make a good year of it. I just need to get it straightened out pretty quick."