Chicago White Sox: Setting a Rotation Is Proving Difficult

Jon FromiSenior Analyst ISeptember 14, 2012

Chris Sale is set to pitch Friday in Minnesota. Setting the rest of the rotation should be a priority.
Chris Sale is set to pitch Friday in Minnesota. Setting the rest of the rotation should be a priority.David Banks/Getty Images

The Chicago White Sox have some rotation issues to contemplate heading into the weekend. The White Sox seem to be having trouble designating who is starting, as well as when that may be.

With a single game lead in the AL Central, it might be a good idea to get a rotation, be it a five or six-man unit, into a rhythm with the regular season waning. Friday's game in Minnesota is a good example of the musical chairs Chicago has been playing on the mound.

Earlier this week, it was thought that Hector Santiago would be the man to open the Twins series. After relieving for Gavin Floyd Wednesday, it looked as if Francisco Liriano would get the nod.

Thursday's rainout with Detroit allows the White Sox to start Chris Sale at Target Field Friday.

Both Santiago and Liriano, who have been penciled in to start, were used as relief in the Tigers series. Philip Humber is supposedly the long relief man for the White Sox, yet he was not used against Detroit. Humber last pitched September 4, when he gave up eight runs in a third of an inning against Minnesota.

Perhaps the bloated pitching staff is in need of some housekeeping. Skipper Robin Ventura should start defining some roles pronto.

Sale, Jose Quintana and Jake Peavy will face the Twins this weekend. Floyd is scheduled to toss Monday's make-up date with the Tigers. From there, who knows?

Humber doesn't seem to have anyone's confidence at the present time. A return to the rotation probably isn't in the cards. Santiago and Dylan Axelrod have had successful starts.

Axelrod went into the eighth inning August 29 in Chicago's 8-1 win in Baltimore, but hasn't been given another starting assignment. That seems strange seeing as how several White Sox starters have had trouble getting to the sixth inning recently.

Perhaps the best course of action is to let Axelrod start Tuesday night in Kansas City and hope the remainder of the rotation holds together. Ventura could also use a six-man rotation that would provide extra rest.

With Liriano having trouble throwing strikes regardless of when he enters the game, maybe Axelrod and Santiago can take the ball in a six-man set up. There are definitely options for Ventura.

For the good of the staff, setting a rotation and letting it cycle a few times in the last 20 games would seem to be the best course of action.

That would beat spinning the pitching wheel, as it currently feels like Chicago is handling the staff.