Chicago White Sox Roster Preview: Starting Rotation

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Hector Noesi (The Project)

Jul 30, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Hector Noesi (48) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Noesi is fun to root for just because you can almost envision his career following a cliche Hollywood arc.

Can’t you see him pitching in a ’15 playoff game, and having Fox announcer Joe Buck cue the footage of when Noesi was shelled by the White Sox at Texas, and marvel at how pitching coach Don Cooper “Saw potential in the right hander. Then Cooper saif to to Rick Hahn, we need to get this guy, and look at him now. Pitching for the White Sox in the postseason. Quite the story.”

It’s true that Cooper saw something in Noesi and the hope is that a full offseason of preparation as a starter will pay dividends in ’15. The White Sox slowly stretched Noesi into a starter last year, and he was able to go deeper into games as the season came to a close.

He still has value in that, like Danks, he could shoot for 200 innings, and getting 200 innings from a backend starter is a plus.

Noesi has issues keeping the ball out of the stands, and on average he gives up just over a hit per inning with a 9.1 H/9 ratio. That’s not a gamble you want to take with a White Sox defense that has been inefficient the last couple seasons.

The White Sox are hoping Noesi’s career follows a cliche Hollywood arc in ’15

This resulted in a 4.43 ERA for Noesi over 27 starts. There were bright spots however. Noesi managed to post a 3.24 ERA over five starts in August on the support of a higher strikeout rate. So maybe Noesi’s formula for success is to generate more whiffs and limit contact. If Cooper can mold him into even more of a strikeout pitcher, there’s potential.

Spring training stats can be misleading, but Noesi produced a more than serviceable 3.68 ERA in his time in Arizona. Quite honestly I have more confidence in Noesi having a successful season than Danks, and it really will be his first full season as a starter, so at least there is upside.

Mar 12, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Hector Noesi (48) pitches against the San Francisco Giants at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Best Case:

Noesi manages to up his strikeout rate and as a result his ERA hovers around 4.00, possibly even dipping below it. He ends up posting a winning record, and Joe Buck reads the line above on a postseason telecast.

Worst Case:

Any success Noesi had last year was merely a form of beginner’s luck and it doesn’t take long for his ERA to balloon to above a 6.00. He can’t even handle the durability required to pitch past the fifth inning and he’s bounced from the rotation by mid May.

My Prediction: 10-14 record/ 4.10 ERA/115 K

Next: White Sox Rotation Depth