John Danks is leading a new era in Chicago White Sox starting pitching. Mark Buehrle dominated the first 11 years of White Sox starting pitching. He led the White Sox in earned run average in eight of the last 11 seasons. Also, he started on Opening Day for the White Sox in nine of the last 10 seasons.
Buehrle had a fine White Sox career before signing with the Marlins in December. He posted 30 starts, 10 wins and 200 innings pitched in each of the last 11 seasons, tied for the active record. Also, he had an earned run average under 4.00 eight times.
Other White Sox pitchers didn't do very well during the last 11 years. Only nine times have White Sox pitchers other than Buehrle posted earned run averages below 4.00 this century, and 14 times they've pitched 200 or more innings. Three of those sub-4.00 earned run average performances and two of those 200-inning years were by Danks.
Also, in 2005, Buehrle led a group of four White Sox pitchers with 200 innings and sub-4.00 earned run averages. In other seasons, the White Sox starting rotation was relatively thin after Buehrle.
Follow along for the best starting pitching performances posted by pitchers other than Buehrle this century.
Jose Contreras (2005): 15-7, 3.61 ERA, 204.2 IP, 154 K, 75 BB, 20 WP, 6.8 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 2.05 K/BB
Phil Humber (2011): 9-9, 3.75 ERA, 163.0 IP, 116 K, 41 BB, 2.3 BB/9, 6.4 K/9, 2.83 K/BB
John Danks (2009): 13-11, 3.77 ERA, 200.1 IP, 149 K, 73 BB, 3.3 BB/9, 7.6 K/9, 2.04 K/BB
15-11, 3.72 ERA, 213.0 IP, 162 K, 70 BB, 3.0 BB/9, 6.8 K/9, 2.31 K/BB
Danks was a large part of the reason why the White Sox were competitive in 2010. He led White Sox starters in earned run average. Danks placed ninth in the AL in earned run average and 10th in wins. His 4.8 wins above replacement put him seventh among AL pitchers.
On July 8, Danks two-hit the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, striking out seven batters.
12-9, 3.32 ERA, 195.0 IP, 159 K, 57 BB, 2.6 BB/9, 7.3 K/9, 2.79 K/BB
John Danks was the leading force on the rotation as the overachieving White Sox slipped into the playoffs. Danks led the team in earned run average while placing fifth in the AL.
Danks' advanced metrics were outstanding. While earning $400,000, Danks' 6.4 wins above replacement figure was fantastic, placing third among AL pitchers. He had the 11th best WHIP rate in the AL. Also, he was fifth in the AL in base-out wins saved (2.8) and adjusted pitching wins (2.8).
In the AL Divisional Series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Danks was the only White Sox pitcher to grab a win, pitching the White Sox to victory in Game 3. He allowed three runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings while striking out seven batters.
18-10, 3.50 ERA, 221.0 IP, 3 SO, 115 K, 47 BB, 1.17 WHIP, 1.9 BB/9, 2.45 K/BB
Jon Garland doesn't figure highly on many lists, but this is one such list. He was tied for the AL lead in shutouts. Garland was second in the AL in wins. He was also in the top 10 in earned run average, innings pitched and walks per nine innings.
At 25, Garland had career highs in innings and shutouts. He would match his 18 wins the following year.
Garland's advanced metrics were impressive. He was fourth in the AL in wins above replacement (5.0) and ninth in wins probability added (3.0).
His solid effort was noticed as he earned a place on the All-Star team.
Garland pitched back-to-back four-hitters on April 25 and May 1.
Garland did a solid job in the White Sox October run to their first World Series in 88 years. He pitched a four-hitter in a Game 3 5-2 White Sox win in the AL Championship Series. In the White Sox's 14-inning Game 3 win, Garland allowed two earned runs on seven hits and two walks in seven innings.
15-8, 3.74 ERA, 216.2, 213 K, 50 BB, 2.1 BB9, 8.8 K/9, 4.26 K/BB, 1.14 WHIP
Vazquez played a major role on the White Sox starting rotation in 2007. He was fourth in the AL in strikeouts and walks and hits per innings pitched. Also, he placed fifth in strikeouts per nine innings and strikeout-to-walk ratio.
He placed sixth in White Sox history in strikeouts in a single season. Also, his strikeout-to-walk ratio and strikeouts-per-nine-innings rate were fourth among all-time single-season marks in White Sox history.
His 5.9 pitching wins above replacement was fifth best in the AL.
21-9, 2.90 ERA, 226.1 IP, 207 K, 56 BB, 10 HBP, 1.11 WHIP, 8.2 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 3.7 K/BB
Esteban Loaiza had a career year for the White Sox in 2003. In only one of two seasons in which he had a sub-4.00 earned run average, Loaiza placed third in that category. Loaiza led the league in strikeouts, becoming the first White Sox pitcher in 45 years to lead the AL in that category.
Also, he was second in strikeouts per nine innings, fifth in walks per nine innings and walks and hits per innings pitched and sixth in strikeouts per nine innings and innings pitched.
His advanced metrics were outstanding. He was third in the AL in wins above replacement (6.4) and led the AL in wins probability added (5.3).
Loaiza started the All-Star Game and placed second behind Roy Halladay in Cy Young voting.