White Sox to Continue Pitching Unconventional Six Man Rotation

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phil humber

After the sweep over everyone’s preseason champion Boston Red Sox, the Chicago White Sox now have a 9-6 record with a 4.22 ERA in 21 starts since employing the six-man rotation. Manager Ozzie Guillen confirmed today that the Sox will stick with the unconventional plan. The White Sox are 18-25 while using a five man rotation.

Maybe this will catch on across the major leagues? Or is this just a fluky nuance like Tony La Russa batting St. Louis Cardinals pitchers eighth? As of now, the Sox will continue to go put Mark Buerhle, Gavin Floyd, John Danks, Edwin Jackson, Phil Humber and Jake Peavy out there.

But if they do revert back to a traditional five man rotation, who would drop out?

There are three candidates among the six.

By Paul M. Banks

jake peavy

Jake Peavy is the most likely pitcher to drop out, because its only a matter of time before he suffers another major injury. Since being acquired from the San Diego Padres in 2009 he’s broken down a few times. He’s also a major proponent of the six-man rotation, and that extra day of rest should help him. When you’re less than a year from repairing a torn lat muscle, added convalescence between starts is appreciated.

“You have a few extra days to recover, and I think it’s obviously beneficial,” Peavy said. “You would like to think that it would pay off in the long run. Late in August and September, we would be a little more fresh, because we’ve had a little extra time.

“You have six deserving guys and six competing at the highest level and doing a good job. Now we’ve got some help in that bullpen. Things are shaking out just fine. I hope at the end of the day, it works to our advantage.”

John Danks should be the one demoted, should everyone stay healthy and Ozzie decides to go five man. Danks was once dominant, but his problems go all the way back to last season. This year, he started off as a “hard luck loser,” but now he has an ugly 5.25 ERA to match his very unsightly 0-8 record.

However, if anyone gets the boot it’ll likely be rookie Phil Humber, who’s looked like an ace, like a right-hander who belongs in the All-Star game. Humber’s 3.06 ERA puts him up near the top of the American League, and seven quality starts makes him a bonafide starter as well. He’s great at painting the corners and locating his pitches. He won’t make the Midsummer Classic, but hopefully he gets to stay in the rotation, and his lack of seniority doesn’t work against him.

“This guy keeps showing people he’s improved himself against good-hitting clubs, and he gets it done,” said manager Ozzie Guillen of his best starter throughout the first half of the 2011 season. “[I’m] very impressed with what he’s done lately.”

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com

Follow @Paul_M_BanksTSB

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