Monday, July 16, 2012
Sox rotation continues to turn over
By Scott Powers
The Chicago White Sox just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to their pitching staff and have been remodeling their rotation for nearly two months now.
John Danks, who was once considered the team’s ace, hasn’t started since May 19 due to a shoulder injury. Philip Humber hasn’t pitched since June 16 because of an elbow injury.
While Humber is scheduled to make his return on Tuesday, his addition likely also comes with the subtraction of Gavin Floyd, who has been dealing with tendinitis in his forearm. One in, one out is how it’s been for the White Sox as of late.
Surprisingly, as much as the White Sox have had to constantly adapt their rotation to their injury situations, they’ve continued to win more than anyone in the American League Central.
Jose Quintana and Dylan Axelrod have filled in nicely. Quintana (4-1, 2.60) has been remarkable, and Axelrod (1-2, 5.30) has kept them in most games and did so again on Monday.
But as good as the White Sox have been at persevering, they need to find some stability in their rotation if they’re going to fend off the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians over the next few months.
With the White Sox’s 5-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox and the Tigers’ win over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, the Tigers moved within 2 ½ games of the White Sox. The Tigers and the White Sox meet in Detroit this weekend, too.
Quintana, Chris Sale and Jake Peavy provide the White Sox with three formidable pitchers, proven to be among the American League’s best this season. But the White Sox will likely need more than just those three starters to ultimately win the AL Central. Pitching depth can often decide a tight division.
Whether it’s White Sox general manager Ken Williams adding another starter before the trade deadline or Danks, Floyd and Humber (or a combination of them) returning, the White Sox need to find five reliable starters. Having Axelrod pitch on two or three days rest or calling up another rookie starter isn’t exactly the answer over time.
If Danks, Floyd and Humber were all to get healthy, it would force the White Sox into a difficult choice in deciding who to move into the bullpen, but, of course, having more than enough arms is certainly better than the predicament the White Sox have been in lately with not having enough.