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Would it make sense for the White Sox to release Danks?

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Apr 8, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher John Danks (50) reacts during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher John Danks (50) reacts during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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While it may seem as though the White Sox are stuck with John Danks in the rotation this year, think again. With Adam LaRoche retiring, I am wondering if it might make some sense to use the money saved from LaRoche’s contract

Apr 8, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox catcher Alex Avila (31) and starting pitcher John Danks (50) meet on the mound during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox catcher Alex Avila (31) and starting pitcher John Danks (50) meet on the mound during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

by buying out Danks. Danks is done, plain and simple, and none of it is his fault (shoulder injury). I have a lot of respect for him as a person for the way he has handled himself post-injury, due to the fact that he has never made his excuses for his poor performance (as he wasn’t the same as before his injury).

Regardless of the kind of person he is, Danks is hurting the team. The Sox have better pitchers in the minor leagues (several, in fact), and since the Sox have no commitment past 2016 it is very possible that he doesn’t survive the whole season. As of right now, I think the Sox are just giving him one last chance to show if he can be at least a number five starter this season.

The reason I think that this is due to the fact that Carson Fulmer and Miguel Gonzalez are in the minors (among others). I think it would be difficult to put Fulmer in the rotation in 2016 just due to the fact that his arm might not be able to handle the workload. However, if the reports are true about his velocity improving, Gonzalez would be able to stabilize the back end of the rotation in a way that the Sox haven’t had since 2012.

Even though there are other options, Gonzalez could end up being a coup if his velocity gets back to where it was pre-spring training. A 4-5 of Mat Latos and Miguel Gonzalez could end up being at least average, but Gonzalez will need to be where he was last season before they bring him up to the big club. I wouldn’t be against Erik Johnson in the #5 spot, just because he is a serviceable major league pitcher, something Danks isn’t at this time.

All in all, it is just one trip through the rotation, and Danks didn’t get a whole lot of help from his defense today. But, it doesn’t seem as though a whole lot has changed between 2015 and 2016. If anything, it has gotten worse. I realize that Latos is not going to pitch the way he did on Thursday, but he should give the Sox a better shot to win than Danks most nights. I wouldn’t release Danks yet, due to the fact that it is just one outing. But this is a situation Sox fans need to keep an eye on, mainly because the Sox have no commitment to him in 2017. The fan base might have to wait a bit, but Danks won’t be ending the season in the rotation (if the team manages to hang around in the standings). This situation is fluid, but interesting to say the least.

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