CHICAGO -- Dayan Viciedo exited Friday night's 8-3 loss to the Astros due to cramping in both hamstrings, and he was out of Saturday afternoon's lineup as well. The move was more about the White Sox being extra cautious with the outfielder, whose 24 RBIs since May 14 lead the American League.
"It's tight, but I'm getting therapy on it, so it's starting to feel better," said Viciedo through translator and manager of cultural development Jackson Miranda. He also added that he would be available to pinch-hit, and that his left hamstring was tighter than the right. "It's something that I'm working through it right now. I don't want to risk anything."
"We got a long way to go, and I don't want to push it for him to go out there," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "If a guy feels he needs to pull himself out, I don't necessarily want to put him right back in there the next night if he feels it's bad enough to come out the night before."
While Viciedo's malady seems to be minor, the same can't be said for Brent Morel. The third baseman returned to Chicago on Friday after pulling himself out of Triple-A Charlotte's game on Thursday during his Minor League rehab.
Morel appears to have re-aggravated his back problem that put him on the disabled list, retroactive to May 18. The 25-year-old was set to undergo more in-depth tests to figure out the latest issue.
"That's the first thing, to figure out what's going on for him," Ventura said. "Seeing the way he was in Spring Training, to kind of the way the start was to the season, to me it is more that was the issue. So we gotta figure out what it is first, and then kind of find your way back after that. You gotta be able to solve that for him first."
However, the continued absence of Morel, and the loss of the designated hitter during this week's Interleague action in St. Louis and Los Angeles doesn't mean Viciedo will move back to third base, where he originally started with the White Sox. Ventura likes him in left field.
"Right now, I wouldn't see him playing third," said Ventura, who will stick with Orlando Hudson, Eduardo Escobar and Brent Lillibridge, even if it means losing the bat of Viciedo or Adam Dunn in a National League-hosted game. "We have options; three other guys who can play that."
Cooper staying positive about pitching staff
CHICAGO -- Don't talk to White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper about any negatives possibly swirling around the American League-Central leading White Sox.
Saturday's staunch defense of the organization began when Cooper was asked about Philip Humber's recent struggles at home and Gavin Floyd's overall troubles during his last five starts.
"Everyone likes to pick out our issues, or our weak points, or things we need to improve," Cooper said. "We are well aware of them, first of all. Thanks to everyone for telling us. We are well aware of everything that is going on.
"Here's some news. There are  other clubs, and they all have issues too. We are not sitting and lamenting our inconsistency. We are trying actively to get it better. That's all you can do. The only thing we know how to do is to keep working, getting after it."
Instead of focusing on the team's shortcomings, Cooper pointed to Jake Peavy being healthy and frequently dominant on the mound, the development of young relievers such as Nate Jones, Addison Reed and Hector Santiago, and the production on offense from Adam Dunn and Alex Rios as examples of major plusses for the division's top team.
"Listen, if I'm not mistaken, I would think all of you guys had us picked to be [garbage]. And we haven't come to that. There are a lot of good things going on," Cooper said. "It's the teams that can fix the issues that might go on and do some things. That's where we are trying to head.
"For me it's a pet peeve I guess. A lot of people like to moan, complain and cry about 'What's this guy not doing? What's this guy not doing?' Hey man, look what's happening here. We don't sit and cry and moan.
"There's no crying and moaning in baseball," Cooper said. "You just got to keep going. And that's a good attribute of our club. Regardless of what happened yesterday, we come back ready to play today."
Patience paying off for Jordan Danks
CHICAGO -- Life has moved pretty fast for Jordan Danks over the past three days.
His contract was purchased from Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday, and he made his Major League debut during that night's contest as a pinch-runner against the Blue Jays. Danks got his first big-league hit with an eighth-inning single on Friday against the Astros, and made his first big-league start in place of left fielder Dayan Viciedo on Saturday afternoon.
"Everybody has been congratulating me on my first hit," said a smiling Danks, who picked up his first multi-hit game, first stolen base and first run scored during Saturday's 10-1 shellacking of Houston. "Now I've gotten congratulations on the first start."
More impressive than Danks' single to left on Friday was that it was the result of an eight-pitch at-bat to start the inning. Danks has adopted a more patient approach at the plate -- as his 40 walks this season for the Knights would illustrate -- moving away from thoughts about striking out too much.
"One of the biggest things that they had always mentioned is trying to cut down the Ks," Danks said. "So I was like, 'You can't strike out if you don't get close to two-strike pitches.' I've been a little bit more patient this year, seeing more pitches and not helping the pitchers out."
John Danks set to begin rehab assignment
CHICAGO -- John Danks threw another pain-free, successful bullpen on Saturday, and will test his left-shoulder strain on Tuesday in a Minor League rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte in Columbus.
"Things seem to be going well," said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper of Danks. "[White Sox head athletic trainer] Hermie [Schneider] has him on the mend, and now it's getting him back into pitching shape, and that's why he's going to go out and throw in a game."
Danks has been on the disabled list retroactive to May 20, and could need more than one rehab start before returning. For now, Jose Quintana is slated to pitch for Chicago on Tuesday in St. Louis and Sunday in Los Angeles.
"We haven't discussed that at length," said Cooper of how many Minor League starts Danks will need. "We aren't going to get too far ahead of ourselves. We are trying to take it day by day.
"You can have the best plan in the world, but if he goes out and stubs his toe today, that plan is off. Where we are at right now is Tuesday he pitches, and after that to be determined."
Third to first
The White Sox are hitting .390 (55-for-141) with runners in scoring position in the last 13 games.
Saturday's 10-1 victory over the Astros gives the White Sox 12 wins in their last 16 games, and 16 in their last 21. They also improved to 158-112 all-time in Interleague Play, and 54-23 since 2008.