Feb 28, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Hector Noesi poses for a portrait during photo day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
• The number of off days in April
The White Sox schedule offers three off days in the first two weeks of the season, which would help alleviate some of the pitching load for a four-man rotation, because the pitcher would not always be on short rest.
Some simple math also shows that if Sale returns on April 22 following a potential 15-day disabled list stint, Samardzija (who would likely take over the ace role with the thin lefty sidelined) would make four starts before Sale’s debut, while Quintana, Danks, and Noesi would each throw three times.
With a normal five-man rotation, Samardzija and Quintana would have three, while Danks, Noesi, and the fifth hole would have two starts each. Not a whole lot extra (and nothing changes for Quintana, who will probably have two no-decisions by then regardless.)
• No pressure to use Carlos Rodon.
The No. 3 overall pick in last year’s MLB First-Year Player Draft has impressed at camp and is gunning to fill that gap at the back end of the rotation that opened up following Sale’s injury. With a four-man rotation, there would be no rush to use Rodon if he is not ready and they would not be pressured to do so without using a traditional five man rotation.
There is also the service time rule that would allow the White Sox to control Rodon for an extra year if his debut is delayed.
That game is already being played on the north side of town with Kris Bryant so it is not like it would be the most un-Chicago thing to ever happen. While I believe if a player can help win ballgames, he should be at the major league level, the business aspect to the game is huge, and I cannot say I blame the White Sox if they employ this strategy with Rodon.
Next: Cons to a four-man rotation