The starting pitcher issues have escalated. Zach Stewart’s little tryout against the worst team in the league didn’t go so well on Monday night. Even the outs recorded at the beginning of the game were hard hit balls and the defense was only able to cover up Stewart’s ineffectiveness for an inning or two. That’s pretty bad, but a loss is a loss when it comes down to it. Stewart has since been shown the door to Charlotte, and Dylan Axelrod is making the opposite trip coming up to join the team in that roster spot. With that loss behind the team, things got worse. Pitching depth has been an issue in the last month or so, and now we receive word that John Danks will return…whenever. Nobody knows for sure, but it will likely be late July or even August before we see Danks on the mound for the Sox again. The White Sox shoulda-been ace is suffering from a Grade 1 subscapularis tear and there is no timetable for his return. The talk is that surgery won’t be necessary and John will begin a strength and rehab program on Friday.
Where will the help be coming from? The good news is that Jose Quintana has no need to worry about where he’ll be laying his head over the next few weeks. The bad news is, every 5th day Gavin Floyd and Philip Humber will have us banging ours. Unless something changes. But what are the options?
I don’t think both can be removed from the rotation; that obviously necessitates two replacements, and the likelihood that two quality replacements could be obtained, without just turning in the exact same performances isn’t great. Let’s focus on one replacement. Axelrod is step one, the first of presumably many that will get a shot to prove themselves at minimal monetary cost to the team. Other in-house options that have been discussed are bringing Brian Bruney back up to the big squad and letting him have a crack at it. Trying to set Simon Castro on the same path that Jose Quintana took, making the leap from AA to regular starter is on the table. And if that’s being discussed it’s hard to believe that rushing Nestor Molina to the team isn’t at least being bandied about as well.
Outside moves? Livan Hernandez has been DFA’d and wishes to continue playing. I’m not sure I recommend such a signing but it would be a cost conscious signing that Kenny Williams can’t cry broke over. Cole Hamels is working on getting himself a new contract, but a Phillies team that probably isn’t going to compete this year and may have a hard time in the next couple may not be the team to give it to him. There is a small chance they’d be willing to move Hamels for the right price. The Rockies are actively shopping Jeremy Guthrie, but does Don Cooper have time for another project right now with all the young arms and existing issues on his plate right now?
The bottom line is that something has to be done. The White Sox standing in the division will be in a state of perpetual flux without the proper pitchers to give the team a chance to win on a regular basis. A 2012 version of Spahn and Sain and pray for rain just isn’t going to get the job done.