The announcement of John Danks being sent to the disabled list Thursday afternoon didn't come with a great deal of warning.
His lingering shoulder soreness wasn't a topic of discussion during the week. His Friday start wasn't pushed back to give him some rest, then canceled altogether.
No, the first word of any problems with Danks were accompanied by the fact that he was already being sent to the DL, and doomed to miss two to three starts as a result.
Since we didn't see Danks leave a start, or be noticeably ineffective (in his last outing, that is), that suggests something quite significant popped up all of a sudden.
The White Sox would like stress that the opposite is the case.
"Nothing serious," Ventura said of Danks. "We're just getting out in front of it and making sure we take care of him."
Danks complained of soreness in the back of his shoulder (sub-scapular area) the day after his last start where he was pulled after 83 pitches, and it hasn't subsided over the course of the week. An MRI showed his labrum and rotator cuff as clean, but the decision was still made to DL him in the wake of it.
The current recovery plan has Danks missing two starts and returning June 4th without a rehab start, and Danks feels like even that is a precaution.
"I'm no doctor, but I told them I was prepared to pitch tomorrow. I still feel like I probably could, but in talking to Kenny and Robin and Herm, it's better to be safe than sorry."
The Sox have a sterling medical record overall, but it's easy to point to two recent cases where they managed a young pitcher differently.
There was a slower rush to judgment on Danks' condition than there was with Sale's mysterious pinball path. Danks not only was given the week to get over the soreness, but also more quickly shown the inside of an MRI machine as the Sox tried to discern the next step.
Conversely, Danks wasn't allowed the same leash as Jake Peavy the past two years, and won't be trying to "push through" problems in his shoulder, or skip bullpen sessions to offset the buildup in pain. If the issue is as mild as the Sox claim, their caution and attentiveness could be viewed as a large positive.
In the mean time, John Danks has soreness in his shoulder that the cause of is unknown, and the Sox are not letting him pitch until it goes away. That should be enough reason for trepidation on its own.
Replacing Danks on Friday night and making his first career start will be Jose Quintana, who had only recently been promoted to AAA Charlotte. Quintana is a lefty that can be cruel to his own kind, and held down the lefty-dominated Indians lineup for 5.2 one-hit innings in his only other major league appearance.
Given Danks' troubles against Cleveland's lefties, Quintana might have a puncher's chance at outdoing the veteran hurler for a night or two; provided he retains his concept of the strike zone throughout. It's unclear whether Quintana will get a chance to start in the other game Danks will miss, but showing he can at least thrive when he has the platoon advantage all night is an important step to earning that.
Johnny didn't exactly set the bar high for his replacement, but insists he wasn't hurt during his poor beginning to the year.
"No, it isn't the reason I've stunk to this point, if that's what you are asking," said Danks
It's a positive that the injury has not been chronic issue through the year, but it might be simpler to have a single explanation for what's wrong with Danks on the field and what's wrong physically.
Instead, we don't really have either.