KANSAS CITY -- After allowing one run on two hits during a Minor League rehab assignment for Double-A Birmingham on Thursday against Tennessee, while striking out five, Philip Humber feels ready to rejoin the White Sox rotation.
That return probably won't come until Wednesday against the Red Sox for the right-hander, as manager Robin Ventura announced Friday that Dylan Axelrod would get Tuesday's start. Putting Axelrod in the second game of the four-game series at Fenway Park gives all of the White Sox starting pitchers an extra day, while also setting up Jake Peavy, Chris Sale and Gavin Floyd to face the Tigers at Comerica Park.
The White Sox starters also get an extra day the following week thanks to an off-day on July 26 before embarking on a six-game road trip to Texas and Minnesota.
"We've kind of been doing it during the year to give a guy an extra day here and there," Ventura said. "It's just another way to do it."
"Sometime next week I'll get back in there," said Humber, who has been on the disabled list since June 22 with a right elbow flexor strain. "We're in first place and even though we've had some injuries, we've had some guys that have stepped up and I think that's going to be a bonus in the second half. When guys get hurt and guys come up and get experience, that's how you build up depth. Sometimes there's a silver lining when injuries happen."
In Humber's third rehab start, the right-hander struggled with his offspeed pitches early but was happy with his exceptional fastball command.
"Everything plays off that," said Humber of his fastball. "It got better as I went. The offspeed pitches, I got a better feel for them. Hopefully that's a sign of good things to come."
Peavy taking one start approach in second half
KANSAS CITY -- Jake Peavy's Major League Baseball future presently does not extend out to the $22 million contractual option the White Sox hold on him for the 2013 season or their $4 million buyout. It doesn't center on where the right-hander will be pitching for the next two or three years after this one.
For the next 2 1/2 months, if not longer, Peavy's future will deal only with his next start in the rotation. It's a team-wide daily approach under manager Robin Ventura that Peavy won't veer off individually.
"That would be selfish on my part," said Peavy, when asked about contractual thoughts running through his mind as the second half begins. "When you start getting ahead of yourself, you lose focus on the task at hand.
"Robin reiterated that point today: We are going to show up and go about each day the right way and pour our heart and souls into it [during game hours] and let the chips fall where they may. You can't promise how this thing will play out. We can promise one thing: how we will show up prepared and how we will play with everything we got."
Peavy is slated to make his 18th start of the year on Saturday, which just so happens to be the two-year anniversary of one-of-a-kind surgery to reattach his lat muscle. Peavy also pitched and won on July 6, which marked the two-year anniversary of sustaining the injury against the Angels.
Those milestones don't mean as much to Peavy as the 2.85 ERA or 93 hits allowed over 120 innings this season -- or his third All-Star selection for the game played this past Tuesday in Kansas City. All of those accomplishments represent the culmination of Peavy's hard work and his return that never could be guaranteed.
Saturday will be more about beating the Royals than celebrating his full recovery, just as Peavy won't worry about his future until he helps take care of current events for his team.
"I'm 100 percent on that on board with that philosophy," Peavy said. "If you do that in the long haul, things will take care of themselves. It would be unfair to my teammates if I didn't pour everything I had into here or if I'm thinking about the future, and you got a little bit of thought and worry away from where it should be. I can't allow myself to do that."
Danks confident he'll pitch again in 2012
KANSAS CITY -- John Danks did not throw over the All-Star break, but did receive treatment for his left shoulder strain during each of the four days. Danks has been able to work out with the team, but still has not been able to cut loose on the mound, leaving him ready to go crazy from the inactivity but not thinking about his season being done.
"Obviously, the further you go, the more likely that is," Danks said before Friday's game against the Royals. "But the way I look at it, we still have  games and I would like to get back and try to help us on the stretch run. Hopefully I can do that."
"We've had to think of everything," manager Robin Ventura said. "Right now, the way I look at it, I hope he's coming back, but you have to prepare for the worst. And keep going. I'm hoping I'm wrong."
During a Thursday morning interview on WSCR 670-AM, pitching coach Don Cooper said that Danks is not even on his radar because his shoulder still is not feeling good. Danks hadn't heard the commentary from Cooper, but understood the sentiment.
The down time is bothering the left-hander more than it's frustrating the team.
"I'm losing my mind," said Danks with a smile. "I guess us playing well: at least there's something to look forward to when you come to the ballpark every day.
"For me personally, it has been a long boring. ... I'm losing my mind. I really am. I want to be out there. I'm not enjoying this, but it is what it is. It's part of the game and I have to deal with it."
Crain nearing return to White Sox 'pen
KANSAS CITY -- Jesse Crain went through two throwing sessions on Friday as he moves closer to a return to the White Sox bullpen.
Crain threw up to 120 feet, took a 15-minute break and did some sprints before throwing from 100 feet. His ideal goal is throw a bullpen session on Sunday and then go on a Minor League rehab assignment to test the right shoulder strain that put him on the disabled list on July 4.
If all goes well in that scenario, Crain could return to face the Twins at home beginning July 23.
"I felt good. A lot better than last week," Crain said. "So it's now just going to be building up the arm strength for throwing, because I've taken a week off. I think that was pretty necessary to do, because it had gotten nowhere in those 12 days previously."
Third to first
Right-handed reliever Jhan Marinez was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte prior to Friday's series opener with the Royals. Marinez, 23, had a 3.14 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 43 innings for the Knights. He took the roster spot of Deunte Heath, who was optioned to Charlotte following last Sunday's loss. Marinez becomes the ninth rookie pitcher and 11th rookie overall to play for the White Sox this season.
Ventura joked on Friday that his ejection by home-plate umpire D.J. Reyburn last Sunday, marking the second of his managerial career, had nothing to do with him having to catch a flight home for the All-star break that evening.
"That wasn't planned," said Ventura with a laugh. "I had plenty of time to make it. It was one of those that had to happen."
The White Sox signed 32 of 41 picks in their 2012 First-Year Player Draft class and 28 of their first 29, as the signing deadline was Friday afternoon.