Which starting pitchers should come back in 2015? Here is a look at the rotation looking forward.
1. Chris Sale: This is an obvious yes. While there are concerns about his motion, he is one of the top starters in all of baseball. He is 11-3 with an ERA of 2.11 this season. No question he returns, barring the Sox can get a monster package in return.
2. Jose Quintana: Even though his record is below .500 at 6-10, his ERA is very respectable at 3.48. If he stays at his current pace, Quintana will probably strike out close to 175 batters, if not more. Another yes, unless he brings back a great return.
3. John Danks: Here is where things get interesting. Danks is making a ton of money for a pitcher of his caliber ($15M plus), considering he is 9-9 with an ERA of 4.88. Some of that is due to his struggles in the early months of the season and since the All-Star Break.
Some of his recent struggles are due to the fact that he has thrown 164 IP, well above what he has over the last two years. Will Danks ever be the pitcher he once was? Not likely, due to the fact that he has lost velocity on his fastball. So if the White Sox can trade him, they should. However, that will be difficult because of his large contract.
4. Hector Noesi: Will Noesi still be in the rotation? Maybe as a fifth starter, but a long man might be a good option for him. Since he struggles to give up the big inning, having him as a starter could be detrimental to the team.
However, if he is the long man in the pen, as well as a spot starter, Noesi could be very productive for the White Sox. The Sox have gotten a versatile pitcher on waivers, something that isn’t always easy to do.
5. Scott Carroll: This is the pitcher that is most likely to not be around next year, as he was optioned back to Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday.
While Carroll has been a good story, considering how long it took him to get to the majors, he just isn’t a part of a competitive team’s rotation. Carroll could be a guy that pitches a few years in the majors on a team that is just looking to rebuild and needs a back-end starter.
Minor Leaguers that could be in the mix
Carlos Rodon: I would not be shocked to see him in the rotation come 2015. He may be in the rotation come September of this year; however, the bullpen could be an option as well. Rodon is a big part of the White Sox future on the mound.
Chris Bassitt: Bassitt is a starter that has been in the Sox farm system since 2011. He has good control, only walking 17 batters in 43.1 innings.
Bassitt’s career minor league ERA is 2.97, which is very respectable. The reason I mention his name is due to the fact that he had the game-two start in the doubleheader versus Detroit Saturday night. He went 6.1 innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits and four walks and striking out four batters.
Come this offseason, Rick Hahn is going to have a lot of decisions to make regarding the pitching. While they are sound at one and two, the others need some work.
Regardless of whether they use their own system or acquire players externally, it will be an interesting offseason when it comes to seeing who the Sox acquire to improve their starting pitching staff.