Originally posted on Grab Some Bench  |  Last updated 4/17/13
In wake of Gordon Beckham's injury, the White Sox called up called up reliever Duente Heath from AAA Charlotte last Friday to help eat up some innings with the bullpen being used heavily early on. Just a handful of days later, with the staff now more rested, the team has sent Heath back down to Charlotte and called up lefty hitter and utility outfielder, Jordan Danks. This news 'broke' around midnight eastern Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, as it was first tweeted by the Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales. It appeared that the position player getting the call up would either be Danks or infielder Brent Morel, as injuries to Beckham and utility man Angel Sanchez have cut into the team's IF depth. But even though the team already has a primary backup outfielder in Dewayne Wise, there is still plenty reason to call up Danks. Get "the Tank" Goin' Obviously, the team's starting left fielder Dayan Viciedo, despite coming up with a huge hit Tuesday night, has struggled mightily so far in 2013. Through 11 games, he has struck out 14 times while posting an abysmal .190 batting average and struggling situationally. Danks getting the call-up, even though I don't believe manager Robin Ventura is anywhere near ready to place DeWayne Wise or Jordan Danks in the starting lineup over Tank, may help to light a little fire under him and serve basically as a small kick in the behind. Adding to Robin's Hand Although DeWayne Wise serves as a very competent backup outfielder, defensive replacement, lefty pinch hitter and pinch runner, having both of these guys at his disposal is really what Robin Ventura needs. By having them both on the ball club, you can give Viciedo days off while he's scuffling while still having the other one on the bench to serve the aforementioned roles. Before Danks was called up, if he were in the starting lineup, options for capable in-game subs were very limited. But now, depth in those regards really can't be questioned. I think this benefit of having Danks up goes hand-in-hand with helping getting Dayan going strong by never having to rely on him too much or in any very unfavorable matchups. Danks Deserves His Fair Shot Yeah, so a lot of talk about Jordan Danks has revolved around the fact that he may not have another shot at being a starter (long-term) for the south siders. After all, the outfield is crowded at US Cellular Field now as is, and that's also where the organization is deepest in the minor leagues. But hey, Danks is a phenomenal defensive outfielder at all three positions and has some pop from the left side of the plate ... so why not continue to let him grow at the major league level? Last season, he was a very servicable bench player not only immidiately in the field, but at times on offense as well. In fact, he hit righties with confidence and at .077 points higher (plus all of his XBH's & RBI's) than he did against south paws. And considering that for now he's just a bench player, that is okay. Him not being able to hit the left handers isn't something that should worry you about how he'll be able to impact this 2013 White Sox ball club. Danks will wear jersey no. 20 as he did at first last year before the team acquired Kevin Youkilis and Jordan swithced to no. 7. You can check out his full statistics and splits from last year and his minor league career here.
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