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Shutting down a starter possible

9/14/2013

CHICAGO -- With John Danks looking as if he has run out of gas and Jose Quintana and Hector Santiago near or beyond career highs in innings pitched for the Chicago White Sox, there is a chance somebody could get shut down before the season ends.

Danks, who missed a year of action after shoulder surgery in August 2012, would seem to be the prime candidate since his velocity is slightly down and his command hasn’t been sharp. But there could be value in building his innings moving toward next season. He is at the 131 1/3 mark after 21 starts.

As of now, Danks is penciled to start Wednesday in the Sox’s homestand finale against the Minnesota Twins.

“I think there’s a little bit of a debate there,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. “We could do that with pretty much all of [the starters] just because where we’re at in the season and looking forward to next year.”

Chris Sale is already at a career high 195 2/3 innings, while Quintana’s 179 2/3 is slightly behind his combined total of 185 last year. Santiago’s 142 2/3 innings is more than the combined 132 2/3 he had over three levels in 2011.

Then there is Andre Rienzo, who isn’t gaining traction at the major league level after a solid minor league season. He gave up five runs on seven hits over four innings to the Indians on Saturday and now has 50 major league innings to go along with the 113 he pitched at Charlotte. That combined total is a career high.

The White Sox are operating with a six-man starting staff, so shedding one pitcher is a possibility. The problem is that the starters who forge on will be pitching more frequently.

“We still have to have guys go out there and pitch,” Ventura said. “If it looks like it’s a better decision to keep a guy from throwing, we’ll probably do it.”