Friday, April 8, 2016

Danks, White Sox open home slate vs. Tribe

The White Sox made some aggressive moves over the offseason to upgrade their lineup. When Chicago welcomes the Indians to U.S. Cellular Field on Friday for its home opener, fans on the South Side will get their first look at additions such as Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie.
In the opener of a three-game weekend set in Chicago, the White Sox will face a tall task in hard-throwing Indians righty Danny Salazar. He was supposed to take the mound against Boston on Thursday, but inclement weather pushed his first outing of the year to Friday.
"I'm just going to take today as another day off," Salazar said after Thursday's postponement in Cleveland. "And now I'll go to Chicago and do my job over there."
Salazar won 14 games, struck out 195 batters and posted a 3.45 ERA in a breakout showing for the Indians a year ago.
He will be opposed by White Sox left-hander John Danks, who could be starting his final season with Chicago. The lefty is in the last season of his five-year, $64 million extension and has struggled in the past few years, even though he has offered durability for the rotation. Danks is 5-14 with a 5.29 ERA in 26 career meetings with Cleveland.
Three things to know
• Due to Thursday's postponement, the Indians could have started ace Corey Kluber on normal rest for Sunday's finale in Chicago. That could have created a scenario where Josh Tomlin (the fifth starter) faced a two-week rest period between starts. Under the circumstances, Cleveland opted to start Tomlin on Sunday, pushing Kluber back to Tuesday at Tampa Bay.
• With the White Sox scheduled to throw three lefties -- Danks, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana -- this series, expect some adjustments in Cleveland's lineup. Rajai Davis will likely serve as the leadoff man, and outfielders Marlon Byrd and Collin Cowgill will also see time in the lineup.
• White Sox manager Robin Ventura secured his 300th career managerial victory with Chicago's 6-1 win over the A's on Thursday. Now, Ventura's club returns home, where the White Sox are 62-53 all-time in home openers. Chicago has gone 12-2 in its past 14 home openers.

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