Duchscherer hopes to be ready by Opening Day

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duchscherer.jpgJustin Duchscherer didn’t throw a pitch last season and is making his way back from a complex procedure that burned the nerve endings around his
sacroiliac joint.  And yet, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea, the right-hander is still optimistic about being fully healthy for baseball’s opening week.

“The Duke of Hurl” will throw off a mound for the first time this week.  He’s hoping to lift his pitch count to 75 by the end of spring.

“The way I feel about my ability to compete, if I can throw 75 pitches
in a game here, when it’s time to turn the lights on for the season to
start, I can go 100,” said the righty.

Duchscherer, 32, was 10-8 with a 2.54 ERA and 1.00 WHIP back in 2008, his first full season as a starter.  If he can get back to what worked two years ago, it could be an interesting summer in Oakland.  Same goes for veteran right-hander Ben Sheets.

Danny Farquhar taken to hospital after fainting in dugout

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White Sox reliever Danny Farquhar passed out in the dugout after completing his outing against the Astros on Friday evening. The cause of the incident has yet to be determined, but Farquhar was supervised by the club’s medical personnel and EMTs and regained consciousness before being taken to Rush University Medical Center for further treatment and testing. A diagnosis has not been announced by the team.

Farquhar pitched 2/3 of an inning in relief during Friday’s 10-0 loss to Houston. He was brought in to relieve James Shields in the top of the sixth inning and was immediately bested by George Springer, who belted a ground-rule double down the right field line and scored Brian McCann and Derek Fisher for the Astros’ sixth and seventh runs of the night. He recovered to strike out Jose Altuve, but was again punished with a two-run homer from Carlos Correa (his first of two), and induced a fly out to end the inning.

The 31-year-old righty pitched just 7 1/3 innings with the club prior to Friday’s performance, issuing four hits, three runs, two homers and eight strikeouts in seven appearances.