White Sox News

Should John Danks stay in starting rotation for 2015?

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Sep 3, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago White Sox catcher Josh Phegley (36) talks to Chicago White Sox starting pitcher John Danks (50) during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

After watching exactly how the Chicago White Sox played on Wednesday evening, it is evident there is some type of problem with left-handed starter John Danks. Should the White Sox keep him on board and in the starting rotation ’15?

If they can’t trade him this offseason, they most likely will have to keep him due to contractual reasons, but his play on the field since the All-Star break ended has been horrendous for the most part.

Post All-Star break, here are the numbers by Danks:

• 7.90 ERA

• 1-4 record (nine starts, 49 innings pitched)

• 70 hits

• 43 earned runs

• 10 home runs allowed

• 18 walks

• 29 strikeouts

• .340 opponent batting average

• 1.80 WHIP

Here are his numbers before the All-Star break:

• 3.99 ERA

• 8-6 record (19 starts, 119.2 IP)

• 119 hits

• 53 earned runs

• 14 home runs

• 46 walks

• 83 strikeouts

• .256 opponent BA

• 1.38 WHIP

There is a big jump in his numbers, and besides just being tired or really good scouting reports, I have no answer as to why he’s pitching so badly this second half of the season.

I assume the White Sox don’t have an answer either, or they would have already fixed this problem of the highest-paid White Sox player (per season) on the roster.

Besides the two earned runs allowed against the Cleveland Indians on Aug. 28, the last time Danks has allowed two or fewer earned runs was all the way back on July 13 at Cleveland in a seven-inning no-decision.

On Wednesday night against the AL Central last-place Minnesota Twins, Danks didn’t make it through five innings, allowing seven earned runs on 11 hits and one walk in just 4.2 innings.

Danks can still be a quality pitcher, but something just isn’t right with him.

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Since 2012, Danks’ performance has been getting worse. In ’12, he had an ERA of 5.70 in nine starts with the White Sox, and last year, his record was 4-14 with a 4.75 ERA.

This season, Danks is 9-10 overall with a 5.12 ERA in 28 starts (168.2 innings). The opposition is batting .282 against him.

Maybe it is time for the White Sox and Danks to part ways this offseason. Maybe a fresh start would be good for both of them. If I were the White Sox – and it seems unlikely he’ll be tradable this offseason with his current contract – I would make Danks a top priority and try to work with him as much as possible to figure out what is wrong and fix it before the start of spring training.

Something has to change, but whatever that is … that’s the million-dollar question.

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