Chicago White Sox: Floyd's Departure Could Be a Chance for Hector Santiago

Jon FromiSenior Analyst IAugust 27, 2012

Gavin Floyd lasted just two innings before elbow soreness forced him from Sunday's game. Who makes his next start vs. Detroit?
Gavin Floyd lasted just two innings before elbow soreness forced him from Sunday's game. Who makes his next start vs. Detroit?Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago White Sox may be on the lookout for another starting pitcher. It's a role they are going to have to fill from within.

The elbow soreness that put Gavin Floyd on the disabled list earlier this season seemed to return early in Sunday's start in Chicago's rain-shortened 4-3 win over Seattle. Floyd left after two innings (via Scott Merkin of after experiencing discomfort in his right elbow. He is back in Chicago as the team starts a road trip in Baltimore.

The White Sox caught a break Sunday as the White Sox got just enough time to take the lead on Tyler Flowers' two-run homer to center. The game was delayed (and subsequently ended) a few moments later.

The Orioles will have the services of Joe Saunders this week, coming over in a waiver trade with Arizona. Could Chicago GM Kenny Williams have another master stroke in store for us? It would be hard to expect.

The best options available to the White Sox in terms of replacing Floyd, for now, appear to reside in their own bullpen. Chicago has two players who could come in and make any starts Floyd may miss.

Since leaving the rotation at the start of August, Phillip Humber has made six appearances and has a 3.52 ERA in 7.2 innings. If skipper Robin Ventura prefers a lefty, the White Sox could turn to Hector Santiago.

Santiago made his longest appearance of the season in relief of Floyd Sunday, throwing four innings and giving up a pair of runs. Santiago spent time down in Triple-A Charlotte recently, where he joined the rotation and pitched 14 scoreless innings.

Santiago was being stretched for starter's work. The White Sox could give him or Humber Floyd's the next start or call up someone like Dylan Axelrod to take that turn in the rotation, but that would mean making a corresponding roster move in the other direction.

The White Sox were carrying 13 pitchers, so from a numbers' standpoint, it wouldn't leave the team shorthanded whether Floyd would go back on the DL or not. The White Sox could elect to wait and see with Floyd, who will be evaluated Monday.

Floyd's replacement looks to be entering at a key point in the AL Central race. That start is scheduled to be the opening game in what figures to be a huge weekend series in Detroit.

No matter who Chicago taps to take the mound in that game on Friday, they will need the same consistency that they need from all their starters at this stage of the season. Santiago has given up one run against the Tigers in six appearances. Is Chicago ready to hand him the ball in Floyd's absence?