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Amid looming 'pen decisions, Danks skipped

DETROIT -- The White Sox soon will have decisions to make regarding their bullpen, with Matt Albers and Dan Jennings continuing on their injury rehab assignments with Triple-A Charlotte. In the rotation, meanwhile, John Danks will be skipped following his rained-out start on Saturday.

Jennings was scheduled to make his third appearance for the Knights on Sunday, testing the neck inflammation that sent him to the disabled list earlier this month. Albers, who broke the pinky on his pitching hand during an April 23 bench-clearing fracas with the Royals and required surgical repair, threw one perfect inning Friday.

Nate Jones, the hard-throwing right-hander working his way back from Tommy John surgery, continues to throw in simulated games in Arizona. Meanwhile, veteran Jesse Crain, who last pitched in a big league game on June 29, 2013, with the White Sox, has thrown in three games for the organization's Arizona Rookie League squad.

"Listen, Nate and Jesse are further away, certainly, than Jennings and Albers," White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "We are not in charge of player changes. We are in charge of coaching who is here when they are here.

"I've got 12 here now and, obviously, another few things that look like they are imminent. If and when they decide they are ready to move, we then make that move."

"Jesse is coming along good. I want to hear from him when he feels like it's time to get out of there and get into the real world, so to speak, and check it out there," Cooper said. "Nate is real close to getting out of there."

David Robertson, Zach Duke, Jake Petricka and Zach Putnam have received the bulk of the late-inning White Sox work, while Daniel Webb has not allowed an earned run over nine appearances. Scott Carroll and Junior Guerra have worked more in long-relief roles.

While Cooper discussed the bullpen alignment, White Sox manager Robin Ventura laid out the rotation for the upcoming week. Chris Sale and Jose Quintana will get the call in St. Louis, with Danks moving from his rained-out start Saturday to Friday's series opener at home against the Orioles.

Rookie Carlos Rodon won't start again until the first or second game of the ensuing Blue Jays home series, giving him an extended break from his last start Thursday in Detroit. The White Sox want to give Rodon the full opportunity to grow and learn as a regular part of the rotation, but also have looked for these extended breaks to monitor his first-year inning total.

"You want to give him as much as he can," said Ventura of Rodon. "But you also want to take care of him, similar to what we did with Sale when he moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast.
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