White Sox: Should Lucas Giolito Replace Derek Holland in Rotation?

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 27: Lucas Giolito
MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 27: Lucas Giolito /

With the veteran pitcher struggling mightily for the White Sox, should the team replace him in the rotation with another top pitching prospect?

The Chicago White Sox took a gamble in singing left-handed pitcher Derek Holland this past offseason to a one-year $6 million deal. The hope for the Sox and Holland was that he could reclaim some value by pitching strongly for a full season. However, Holland has been anything but effective for the Sox recently.

After his last start on Sunday against the Kansas City Royals, Holland’s spot in the starting rotation could be in jeopardy. Holland gave up seven earned runs on seven hits in just two innings against Kansas City. The 30-year-old pitcher is 6-12 with a 5.48 ERA this season through 24 starts. Holland’s 24 starts are the most he’s had in any season since 2013. That season he made 33 starts for the Texas Rangers.

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In his last nine starts, Holland has only pitched six innings once. Holland has had trouble sustaining long outings and has given up five or more earned runs in seven of his previous nine starts. With Holland’s recent struggles, does it make sense for the White Sox to send him to the bullpen and promote Lucas Giolito to take his spot in the starting rotation?

Giolito, the Sox seventh ranked prospect has been pitching well for Triple-A Charlotte recently. With the recent promotion of his teammate Reynaldo Lopez, Giolito could be next in line to join the Sox starting rotation.  In his last four starts, Giolito hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any outing. He’s pitched more than six innings in three of his last four starts and hasn’t allowed more than three walks.

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The 23-year-old former top prospect struggled to start the season for Charlotte, but hasbeen more consistent on the mound recently. If Holland continues to struggle for the Sox, the team should strongly consider replacing him with Giolito. Holland could finish the season in the bullpen while Giolito gets much needed major league experience with the Sox sooner rather than later.