After Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks faced the Minnesota Twins on June 22 his ERA stood at 5.38. After his start on Aug. 12 his ERA has dropped to 4.58. I must ask, Is he pitching his way to a tradable commodity?
While he is under contract through 2016, there are some issues such as an eight-figure contract with a history of injuries.
While it is impossible to predict the future of any player, there are some very troubling signs that he won’t keep up this current stretch of success.
I understand Danks doubled his win total from three to six since June 22, not to mention he only has one loss. While I don’t think Danks is much more than a six-inning pitcher most nights, he has proven that he can extend to seven-plus on some occasions and provide quality starts.
His next start is scheduled for Aug. 18 at Angels Stadium against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
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My biggest issue with Danks is this. Even though a lot of pundits point to a bad ERA, win/loss record, etc. there is a bigger problem. Danks has thrown less than 100 pitches in more than half of his starts, something that cannot be overlooked.
Another problem is the amount of starts where Danks gets absolutely shelled. Danks has given up five or more earned runs six times in 2015, which is awful for someone making $15 million this season. Danks has an ERA for a pitcher in the steroid era, not for ’15.
Danks K/BB rate is not very good either. Even though it is a little bit better than 2/1 (91/40) the fact that he doesn’t have the elite control to win without missing the bat consistently is a big issue. Danks also gives up more than a hit per inning (141 in 127.2) which is alarming and unacceptable.
Aug 7, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks (50) delivers a warm up pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
That would be okay if Danks was a 200-strikeout pitcher per year, however he is not. If Danks was hard to make contact against I wouldn’t be so worried about the high hit total. Since he has trouble missing the bat, he needs to keep the hits down which is something he doesn’t do.
I realize that Danks has been pitching better over the last month or so. The big question is can he keep it up?
Just by looking at the fact he is still having bad outings (see: Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox) it is unlikely that Danks will be anything more than a back-end starter.
The question is this, Will Danks be able to keep up his hot stretch long enough to make a pitching thin team bite on him in the offseason?
If he does, the White Sox will probably have to take on some of his money, but will be able to open a roster spot for one of their young arms.
That would be a good thing, considering the massive hole that has been the White Sox fifth starter the last few years.