GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — John Danks didn’t get to pitch against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday because of rain. He still enjoyed some quality time with his cut fastball.
After Saturday’s scheduled exhibition game was called off, the Chicago White Sox left-hander threw 45 pitches in a three-inning simulated game in the batting cage to remain on schedule.
Danks used the time to work on his cutter, a pitch that he used more frequently before he was sidelined by arm surgery in 2012.
“Everything felt good,” Danks said. “I was pleased with the cutter and was able to make it move. I started playing with it on the opposite side of the plate.”
“It gives me another pitch to get lefties out. I think we might have found something (today),” he said.
While Danks said it was disappointing to not face opposing batters, he said, “It was good to get up that third time (after breaks to simulate half-innings) and stretch it out as much as we can. We have plenty of time to get to where we want to be.”
Chicago pitchers Dylan Axelrod, Eric Surkamp and Chris Beck also threw in the cage to hitters.
Cleveland’s first two pitchers on Saturday would have been Trevor Bauer and veteran Aaron Harang, who are competing for spots at the end of the Indians’ rotation.
White Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom remains sidelined with an oblique strain. He hasn’t thrown since feeling a strain in his side on Wednesday during a 15-pitch side session.
“He’s getting better. That was just precautionary,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said.
Lindstrom also is not concerned. “The main test is coughing and sneezing,” he said.
Catcher Josh Phegley was a late scratch with the flu in the posted lineup. Adrian Nieto, who would have started behind the plate Saturday, will play Sunday in Surprise against the Rangers, Ventura said, along with Tyler Flowers.
Before the rains came, Maikel Cleto threw batting practice for the first time in White Sox camp since being claimed on waivers from Kansas City earlier in the week. “He’s a good arm in our system and we’ll see what we can do with him,” Cooper said. … Adam Dunn, who was in the lineup for the canceled game, will do some hitting on Sunday before the game, then leave for the Academy Awards. The movie “Dallas Buyers Club,” which Dunn helped finance and in which he appeared briefly, is nominated for six Oscars. Dunn will be back in the White Sox lineup on Tuesday.