Dioner Navarro helped John Danks stop tipping his pitches

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
12 Comments

White Sox starter John Danks was hit hard in his March 13 start against the Diamondbacks, surrendering eight runs on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. He had a conversation with catcher Dioner Navarro, who told him that he was tipping his pitches by holding his glove in a different position based on whether he was throwing a fastball or breaking ball, Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports.

“Dioner has been around awhile,” Danks said. “He has seen me and faced me. If he says something, I don’t need to look at it on video. He told me exactly what I was doing. We fixed it and it has not been an issue since.”

He’s right. In his next start, last Friday against the Cubs, he threw five scoreless innings, yielding only one hit and two walks with seven strikeouts. He started again on Wednesday against the Padres and threw six scoreless innings on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts.

Navarro is optimistic about Danks going forward.

“I noticed it against the Diamondbacks,” Navarro [said]. “That is my job as a catcher — to see those things. I think his last two outings have been great. I know he will continue to do it the whole season.”

Danks, 30, has had a rough go of things over the last five seasons. He has compiled an aggregate 4.71 ERA over 120 starts in that span of time. The White Sox inked him to a five-year, $65 million extension prior to the 2012 season and he’s now in the final year of that deal.