Chicago White Sox: What is wrong with the starting rotation?

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May 6, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) throws a pitch against the Detroit Tigers during the third inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

(Editor’s note: All stats are before games on Saturday.)

Going into the season, the Chicago White Sox were supposed to have at least a solid starting rotation. While the back end of it was going to be a bit shaky, the first three were supposed to carry the load.

That hasn’t happened. Here is some analysis as to what is going on with the White Sox starters.

To start, they have the third-worst ERA among starters in all of baseball. While I doubt that will be the case at the end of the year, it is troubling that they got off to such a horrible start.

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Chris Sale, who is the team’s ace and one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, has an ERA of 5.93. His last two starts have been awful, as the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers have hit him hard.

Here are some theories as to why Sale may be having some trouble early in the year.

Considering the fact that his spring training routine was disrupted by a foot injury, he may be going through a dead arm period. Since he hasn’t lost any velocity, I doubt he is injured, but here is another factor.

Sale has been throwing fewer sliders this year, which may be his best pitch. I understand the fact that the White Sox want to limit his use of the slider due to injury, but there is a risk/reward involved. If he doesn’t throw it enough, he won’t be as effective.

Another issue is the fact that he is overthrowing in the first inning, as he is hitting 98 MPH on the radar gun. If he can throw more sliders, but not too many and not overthrow, Sale should get back to normal. Not to mention the fact that it may be a dead arm.

Next: Jeff Samardzija and a roller coaster year