John Danks said he understands the White Sox’ decision to let him go.
“It’s a win-now league, and I wasn’t helping the team win,” Danks said Wednesday, a day after the club said it was releasing him.
Off to an 0-4 start with an 7.25 ERA on a team that has lost only eight games through May 3, Danks was cut loose and will be replaced in the starting rotation by Erik Johnson on Thursday. The 31-year-old veteran lost velocity on his fastball and was never the same after going through shoulder surgery in 2012.
“I’m not the first guy to go through surgery,” Danks said. “I obviously thought I could beat it — I think I can — but it’s no secret I wasn’t the same guy I was before surgery.
“I thought I worked as hard as I could. I put myself in the best position, I just wasn’t physically ready to do it nearly as much as I was before surgery.”
Danks said he will continue to work out and hope another team gives him another shot.
“If the phone rings I’ll be certainly interested,” he said. “If it doesn’t for some reason, it’s been a helluva run. I can say I got to play nine seasons in the big leagues, especially with one team, in a badass city like Chicago. I don’t have any regrets, I worked as hard as I know how to and did my very best every time out and that’s really all I could promise. … there certainly still is a desire to play. Now it’s up to someone wanting me or not.”
Danks had an inkling in the days that followed that his rotation spot was in jeopardy after he gave up 11 hits, including two home runs, in a 10-2 loss to the Orioles that stopped a six-game Sox winning streak in Baltimore Thursday. But he thought the likely move was to the bullpen. The Sox, knowing Danks had not pitched as a reliever, didn’t see the wisdom in changing the look of what has been the American League’s top pen.
As abrupt as the end came, it wasn’t a big shock.
“I grew up there,” he said. “Showed up as a baby, I was 21 years old when I made my first start and left as a 31-year-old man. I got to play with a lot of awesome teammates that have become lifelong friends now. Met a lot of people in a great organization.
“I certainly had a lot of good times, some tough times, some struggles but all in all I got to live a dream. Got to play a game, and yeah, I’m a very blessed man, no doubt.”