John Danks to start Cactus League opener; Turner, Fulmer get early looks

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CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 20: John Danks #50 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Cleveland Indians during the first inning of their game on September 20, 2015 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the White Sox 6-3. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — John Danks will start the White Sox Cactus League opener Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the veteran lefty also would appear to line up to start the Sox’ home opener against the Cleveland Indians on April 8 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Jacob Turner is slated to start the Sox’ second spring training game Friday against the Cleveland Indians. First-round draft choice Carson Fulmer is lined up for Saturday against the Kansas City Royals in Surprise.

The Sox prefer to keep their starters away from AL Central teams or teams they play early in the regular season in their Cactus League games. Ace Chris Sale, who will start the season opener at Oakland on April 4, likely won’t start in a game until March 19 as the Sox lighten his game load.

The way Sox pitchers are lined up on the schedule indicates Sale will be followed in the rotation, in order, by left-handers Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon, right-hander Mat Latos and Danks. The Sox open the regular season with a four-game series in Oakland.

Fulmer, who isn’t expected to make the Opening Day roster, is rated as the Sox’ No. 1 pitching prospect. He and prospect Tyler Danish will pitch first in the Sox’ first intrasquad game Monday. Rodon and prospect Brandon Brennan are listed to pitch first in Tuesday’s intrasquad game.

“It’s great,” Fulmer said. “I’ve always wanted to be a starter. I relieved early on in college [at Vanderbilt], became a starter later, and now I’m having an opportunity to start here. It’s a good opportunity. I’ll get to face some good talent, obviously, and I’m just looking forward to the experience.”

While Fulmer is pitching against the Royals, Quintana will start a B game against the Reds in Goodyear.


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