DETROIT -- Though a rainout cost John Danks a start in Detroit he’s expected to make his next turn on Friday.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura used Saturday’s postponement to alter his rotation as the team’s plans also include pushing back rookie Carlos Rodon’s next turn as well.
[MORE SOX: Front office's approval won't change Robin Ventura's approach]
The White Sox expect to start Chris Sale and Jose Quintana on Tuesday and Wednesday in St. Louis while a pair of days off this week means Rodon -- who pitched five innings Thursday in Detroit -- likely won’t pitch again until Toronto comes to U.S. Cellular Field in a series that begins July 6. Danks looks to be in line to pitch Friday’s series opener against the Baltimore Orioles.
“Young guy, going through it you want to give (Rodon) as much as he can but you also want to take care of him, similar to what we did with Sale when he moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation,” Ventura said. “You just want to when you can give him a breather. But when he’s going, you want him every five days so he can get the repetition and everything that goes with being a starter in the big leagues. And on the other hand you want to give him a break when you can.”
Rodon is likely to pitch either Monday or Tuesday game against the Blue Jays, which would mean 10 or 11 days in between starts. The White Sox may also give Rodon extended rest around the All-Star break.
[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
Danks is 0-4 with a 6.85 ERA in six starts in June. Rather than push him back one day, the White Sox elected to keep Jeff Samardzija on regular rest.
“You want him to pitch better and he wants to pitch better,” Ventura said. “There’s been times when we’ve needed him to go deep in the game and he does it. The veteran part of him, you trust him to improve and get better at it. You ask him to go nine? Not really, but he realizes he can pitch better and get deeper into games.”
On Wednesday morning, ESPN.com released their rankings of all 30 MLB team's starting rotations. The rankings were a nod to the current structure of the rotation, as well as how they were likely to perform in the future. And that is why the Chicago White Sox being ranked dead last in the league is somewhat alarming.
Overall, the White Sox rotation is 28th in WHIP and 29th in strikeouts.
Lucas Giolito is currently the team leader in wins with four, but his ERA sits at an unsightly 7.19. James Shields has been decent in spurts, but a general lack of run support has limited his effectiveness. Carlos Rodon has been a mixed bag since returning, but was able to reach the seventh inning in his last start. This is encouraging considering that he hadn't made it that far in any of his previous three starts. And Reynaldo Lopez continues to rack up quality starts—much like Shields—but has two wins to show for it.
Veteran players like closing pitcher Joakim Soria and Shields are sure to be hot names on the trade market, and that could go a long way towards bringing in additional prospects to build up the White Sox farm system, and lead to a much improved rotation in the future.
So the White Sox obviously deserve to be ranked lowly until they can groom their minor league starter prospects into MLB-ready staff members, something that looks like it could take longer than originally expected. Flame-throwing top prospect Michael Kopech is still amassing high strikeouts numbers, but he is walking over six batters per outing, showing an obvious issue with control.
White Sox fans can take their mind off of ESPN ranking the team's rotation 30th in the league by turning their attention to Eloy Jimenez. He has been absolutely crushing it in Double-A Birmingham, and will likely be making his debut with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights on Saturday. That game will be live on NBC Sports Chicago. So sit back, relax and look forward to the future, wherever it may take White Sox faithful.
In Part 2 of "Ask Us Anything" we answer the following questions: Who will be the biggest free agent the White Sox sign this off-season? What are the chances they trade Avi Garcia before the deadline? What's your assessment so far of Luis Robert? Who's on your all-time busted prospect list? Is Omar Vizquel the next White Sox manager? Would the 1994 White Sox have won the World Series if there wasn't a strike? What's the long term plan at third base? These questions and many more on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.
If you missed Part 1 of 'Ask Us Anything', you can listen to the full episode here
Listen to the full Part 2 of 'Ask Us Anything' at this link or in the embedded player below: