As has been reported by the media, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen plans to end the team’s temporary experimentation with a six-man rotation no later than June 1, as the team is reverting back to the traditional five-man staff.
The Sox are 10-5 with the added man in the rotation, which has been the case since Jake Peavy returned to the rotation on May 11.
Someone’s role is about to be reduced
That odd man out should be John Danks.
The 26-year-old lefty is 0-7 with a team-high 4.34 ERA. Yes, the 0-7 record has a lot to do with the mediocre run support he’s been given, but the simple fact remains—Danks has been Chicago’s worst starter this season.
Of all starters, Danks has the highest ERA, highest slugging percentage against and the worst K/BB ratio.
Across the board, his numbers are noticeably worse than where Sox fans have grown accustomed to seeing them.
Another factor pushing Danks to the outside looking in is that he is arbitration-eligible this offseason. It seems very unlikely that Danks will return to the White Sox after this season, so why not receive something in return for your talented lefty, instead of letting him walk after the season?
The emergence of Phil Humber coupled with what so far has been a successful return from surgery for Jake Peavy would allow the White Sox to not skip a beat without Danks.
The South Siders would likely get a significant return by trading Danks, a 26-year-old with a career ERA south of 4.00 and a 2.54 batting average against. That return would likely be in the form of a much needed up-and-coming prospect to help shore up the farm system as well as someone who would make an immediate impact on the big league roster.
The rotation would remain one of the AL’s best, with Mark Buehrle, Humber, Edwin Jackson and Peavy. If one of them were to go down with an injury, Chris Sale could be inserted to fill the void, so depth really isn’t in an issue if Danks were to be sent elsewhere.
Pitching hasn’t been the issue for the White Sox this year, it’s been their mediocre offense. Trading Danks could serve as addition by subtraction, they’d add a bat and not weaken the rotation. The way the other five starters have pitched warrants a five-man rotation, they need to reach that 30-start plateau.
Danks has been an integral part of Chicago’s staff the last few seasons, but he has run his course on the South Side. It’s getting to be time for the two sides to part ways. If the Sox are to make a comeback in the central division, they’ll need the bat they would receive in return for Danks.