At times during the offseason, right-hander Tyler Danish wondered if he’d get another chance to pitch in the majors.
There had been the car crash with the semitruck on his way home from Class AAA Charlotte at the end of last season. Danish, 23, dislocated his left shoulder in the crash and posted a picture of his mangled vehicle on Instagram, where he wrote that he was “unbelievably blessed” to walk away from the scene.
Less than three months later, more adversity arrived. The White Sox removed him from the 40-man roster.
“We had some tough days,” said Danish, who turned to his girlfriend for support. “There were tough days where I thought it could be that I squandered the opportunity. But she reminded me that every day is a new day. There’s always an opportunity, and if you want something, you continue to push at everything you want to do.
“I think the car accident helped with that, as well, understanding that life can change in a heartbeat. That car accident really showed me every day is a new day, and you take it to the fullest that you can.”
On Friday, Danish completed his journey back to the big leagues, and he had a 1-2-3 seventh inning against the Blue Jays.
The Sox purchased the contract of Danish, recalled right-hander Thyago Vieira and designated veteran Chris Volstad for assignment. The moves came one day after the team dealt closer Joakim Soria to the Brewers. Vieira allowed two earned runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Jays.
Initially a starter, Danish has reinvented himself as a reliable reliever. He was 1-3 with a 3.06 ERA in 29 appearances (two starts) with the Knights, and he posted a 1.04 ERA (two earned runs in 17„ innings) in July.
Getting his chance
General manager Rick Hahn said Danish earned his opportunity. The 2013 second-round pick made three bullpen appearances in 2016 and one start in 2017 with the Sox.
“He altered his arm slot a little bit, and he’s had a lot of success out of the bullpen from that new slot,” Hahn said. “He’s been extremely tough on right-handed hitters in particular. . . .
“It’s easy to lose sight that he’s 23 since he’s already been up here for a little bit and was already viewed as one of our top prospects in a previous iteration of his career. But given that he’s 23 and given that he’s embracing this role, there’s a real solid chance for him to provide some value over the long term. He’s going to get that opportunity to show what he can do.”
Vieira, 25, pitched one scoreless inning with the Mariners last season in his only previous action in the big leagues.
This time, the hard-throwing Brazilian hopes that he can stick around. The Sox acquired him in November for international signing-bonus pool money, and he averaged 11 strikeouts per nine innings with the Knights.
“I’m going to attack you with the fastball,” Vieira said. “I know it’s the major leagues, but it’s the same baseball. You have to trust yourself. I’m not scared of nobody.”