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Danks on target to start home opener vs. Tribe

Veteran lefty set to start first Cactus League contest vs. Dodgers
MLB.com @scottmerkin

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- In his 10th season with the White Sox, as the player on the current roster with the most seniority, John Danks gets the honor of starting Thursday's Cactus League opener against the Dodgers.

Actually, Danks' longevity on the South Side has little to do with his opening trip to the mound at Camelback Ranch. The White Sox simply are lining up the rotation for the start of the season.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- In his 10th season with the White Sox, as the player on the current roster with the most seniority, John Danks gets the honor of starting Thursday's Cactus League opener against the Dodgers.

Actually, Danks' longevity on the South Side has little to do with his opening trip to the mound at Camelback Ranch. The White Sox simply are lining up the rotation for the start of the season.

Assuming this early Cactus League alignment holds true, Danks also will pitch the home opener against the Indians on April 8. He will be preceded by Chris Sale on Opening Day in Oakland, Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon and Mat Latos based on the schedule.

White Sox Spring Training information | Schedule

Danks will be followed in Arizona by Jacob Turner on Friday at home against the Indians, and Carson Fulmer, the organization's No. 1 prospect who gets the start Saturday in Surprise against the Royals. Pitching coach Don Cooper doesn't like to throw pitchers who will be in the rotation against teams the White Sox will face soon, such as the A's, or teams in the American League Central, such as the Indians or Royals.

Video: Fulmer realizing his dreams in first big league camp

Fulmer also will start Monday's intrasquad game against Tyler Danish, the organization's No. 11 prospect. Although Fulmer figures to begin the 2016 campaign as part of Double-A Birmingham's rotation, he's excited to get this Cactus League chance.

"That's pretty cool. I really don't know what to expect," Fulmer said of the start in Surprise against the defending World Series champions. "I have to keep the game simple and go out there and try to give us the best chance to win.

"I've always wanted to be a starter. I relieved early on in college, became a starter later, and now I'm having an opportunity to start here. It's a good opportunity. I'll get to face some good talent, obviously, and I'm just looking forward to the experience."

Turner is working his way back from a stress fracture in his right elbow that limited the ninth pick overall in the 2009 Draft to a pair of Minor League starts with the Cubs last season. The right-hander, who is out of options, used that down time to figure out a few things about his game that he wouldn't divulge.

"If I told you, it wouldn't be my thing," Turner said with a wry smile. "There's a lot of positives to gain out of having that time to watch baseball, to watch other guys, to watch guys that are successful and what they do to be successful.

"It's really finding what makes you successful, and reflecting on that a little bit really helped me. It will help me this year."

Sale is set to throw three-plus innings on Friday in a simulated game, when Turner starts against the Indians. Quintana will pitch in a 'B' Game at Goodyear against the Reds on Saturday.

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

Chicago White Sox