Coming into spring training, there were two question marks on the 12-man pitching staff. The first involved John Danks, whose ability to rebound from subscapularis surgery wouldn't be taken for granted. His availability called the second spot -- the last bullpen job -- into question, since it could force a potential long-relief candidate into the rotation as a short-term fix.

Right now, it seems like those questions have been answered before March.

Danks, who has qualified his enthusiasm on the advisement of his counselors early on, stepped up with the bold proclamation: "I have no doubt I'll be on the Opening Day roster."

Now, I have some doubts that he'll be able to hold that rotation spot if he gets it. But as long as he's penciled in, that seems to resolve the other potential vacancy, because Robin Ventura said it's "highly unlikely" that Hector Santiago would start the season in Charlotte's rotation. The Sox are going to stretch him out to be aligned closely with Danks' throwing schedule during the spring, but if he's not needed for a rotation spot at the start of the season, they're confident that his versatility will allow him to remain stretchable from a long-relief spot.

If Danks and Santiago are on the 25-man roster at the same time, that basically seals the pitching staff:

Starters: Danks, Chris Sale, Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd, Jose Quintana
Bullpen: Santiago, Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom, Jesse Crain, Matt Thornton, Donnie Veal, Addison Reed.
The LOOGY role is the only other role that hasn't been officially settled, because Veal hasn't been assured the spot, and Leyson Septimo is out of options. But apparently Septimo slipped and hurt himself while fielding a bunt in the ninth inning of Monday's game, so that long shot might be even more unlikely if there are any lingering effects.