MINNEAPOLIS -- The six-man rotation is no longer just a plan.
With their young starters in need of a break, the White Sox announced Wednesday morning they have employed a six-man rotation -- for now.
Manager Robin Ventura officially set his rotation for the next six games: Philip Humber, Gavin Floyd and Francisco Liriano will face the Los Angeles Angels, Ventura said.
Jake Peavy will pitch on Monday against Kansas City and Chris Sale and Jose Quintana will follow.
I had to write it down, Ventura joked.
The team has emphasized the importance of extra rest for Sale and Quintana, both of whom will soar past their career highs for innings pitched this season.
Sales average fastball velocity was down two miles per hour in his last start on Friday as he battled a dead-arm situation. Sale said he is healthy but will get 10 days off in between starts.
Quintana has allowed eight earned runs in his past 13 13 innings, including four in the first inning Monday. The left-hander finished Mondays start strong and completed seven innings, but will get an eight-day break.
Liriano and Peavy will pitch on regular rest.
When you have six guys you can kind of push it around this way because you do have the flexibility, Ventura. With the two young guys, youre trying to take care of them and give them the best opportunity when they go out there. You make sure theyre healthy and competitive when they go out there and have every bit of ammo when they pitch.
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: