Why these two young arms must remain in the Chicago White Sox starting rotation

Nick Nastrini and Jonathan Cannon dazzled in their first career starts.
Melissa Tamez-USA TODAY Sports
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The future should be now for the Chicago White Sox starting rotation.

Garrett Crochet is off to a tremendous start and is looking like an ace in every outing. Erick Fedde has been solid too.

The rest of the rotation has been shaky. Veteran Michael Soroka has struggled while Chris Flexen was so bad that he has been demoted to the bullpen. We think.

With Crochet needing some extra rest as he transitions from the bullpen to being a starter along with now needing a fifth starter consistently, the Sox have turned to two prospects to help out in that area.

Nick Nastrini and Jonathan Cannon proved in their first starts they belong in the rotation for the rest of the season.

Both were outstanding in their MLB debuts. Nastrini pitched Monday and gave up two runs and three hits over five innings. He looked poised and composed. Most importantly, he looked like he belonged on a big-league mound.

Cannon followed up two days later with a strong debut performance of his own. He gave up just one run and three hits in five innings. He stuck with his sinker to start the game, but he mixed in all of his pitches as the game went on. He looked more comfortable out there as the game went on.

Finally, the Sox have some hope this season. Well, that is if both stay in the rotation for the rest of the season. Manager Pedro Grifol was non-committal about Cannon getting another start. At least, Nastrini is scheduled to get the start on Sunday against Philadelphia.

But there are "the veteran pitchers in the organization dark cloud" hanging over these two prospects.

The reason to be worried that Cannon will be sent back to Triple-A is the White Sox have veterans Mike Clevinger and Brad Keller in the organization. We know the Sox value Clevinger while 29 other teams do not. It would not be a shock to see the organization go with that person of less than stellar character rather than an exciting, young arm.

There might be a temptation to go with veteran arms to see if they can be flipped at the deadline. The hope is the front office can avoid that false hope.

This season is lost. It should be about seeing whatever prospects leftover from the previous management regime can help in the long run. Nastrini and Cannon showed in one start that they have the potential to do that.

Yes, they may have rough outings down the road, but that is part of the development process. Nothing is gained if Soroka, Clevinger, or Keller give up six runs. Something is gained if Nastrini and Cannon can bounce back from a start like that.

Plus, pitching is the one area the Sox can point to as a reason for hope as they have other exciting pitching prospects.

Jordan Leasure is already showing he can be a future fixture in the bullpen. Noah Schultz, Drew Thorpe, Jairo Iriarte, Jake Eder, and Ky Bush are also exciting arms. The Sox have the potential to mirror successful, small-spending organizations like the Tampa Bay Rays and the Milwaukee Brewers. They need to follow their lead by actually giving their young arms a chance to shine.

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