Chicago White Sox Community Roundtable: Week 2

JJ SSenior Writer IApril 14, 2008

Gavin Floyd has been stellar this year, but has a history of pitching well against Detroit but not so great against other teams. Do you see him keeping up his performance against the rest of the AL?

Isaac Sorsa: Gavin has a very good feel for how to pitch. He has had Detroit hitters guessing a ton this year, and I think it has done a lot for his confidence.

I liked what Gavin has shown us even when he was getting knocked around. I felt like he was learning on the job last season, figuring things out and getting better. He looks very comfortable so far this season, and I think we have been watching the real Gavin so far.

Dieter Kurtenbach:
Gavin Floyd's curveball looked electric on Saturday, but his lack of control will bite him and the Sox more than once this season. His control needs to be fine-tuned if he wants to stay in the rotation.

I think that Floyd will be a solid fifth starter who will flash his ace stuff in spots, but also expect to see games where he won't be able to finish the sixth inning.

He'll have a great start, three solid ones and a disastrous outing every five games he starts.

Thomas Barbee: While it's true that Floyd has had a history of pitching well against Detroit, you still have to give the guy credit for pitching so effectively in such bad weather conditions against a team most projected to have the No. 1 offense in baseball.

Floyd is pitching with supreme confidence and he's going out and attacking hitters, mixing his pitches to a degree I hadn't seen from him since he's been in the majors.

Even if he has done well against the Tigers in the past, Floyd's problems have always been in his head, not on the field. Getting a confidence booster early in the season is the best thing that can happen to him.

TJ March: I would like to, but looking at numbers, I got to say no.

He has been anything BUT consistent in his short major league career. However, if anyone could turn Gavin "Pretty-Boy" Floyd around, it would be Dr. Don Cooper.

Jake Widlowski: I believe that Gavin Floyd will be able to keep up this type of play for the rest of the season.

Despite Detroit's poor record, they still have very good hitters, which equals good pitching for Floyd. He is going to be the real deal this season in my opinion.

Steve Jankowski: Not right away, but I think in time he'll start figuring out what he's doing right against the Tigers and apply it to other teams, where applicable.  He's shown he can pitch at this level, but he'll have to get more consistent to be a reliable starter.

Aaron Rusnak: It's hard to judge based on how bad Detroit has been this year. I'm hoping these first two wins have given him the needed confidence to stay successful.

I can't say he will be good off these two wins, but no way will I say he will be bad.

JJ Stankevitz: I’m not sold on Floyd just yet. It’s only two starts into the season and in those starts, he’s faced a team that he’s had a lot of previous success against.

He’s going to have to show me that he can pitch well against other teams. However, if he uses his two stellar outings against Detroit to build up confidence, he certainly has the stuff to be a very good starter.

On the other side, do you think John Danks' poor performance Wednesday was the start of a trend (bad/inconsistent pitching) or an aberration?

Isaac Sorsa: Danks was lights out at the start of last year and then fell off. I think for some reason, he will always be somewhat inconsistent.

There is something that isn't quite there with Danks that I can't put my finger on. He certainly has great stuff, but so far we haven't been able to tell which Danks is going to show up, and until he becomes more consistent, I'll continue to think that's what type of pitcher he is.

Dieter Kurtenbach:
I see a lot of Buehrle in Danks. I really think that this is an aberration for him, but at the same time, I don't expect Danks to dominate this season.

Danks, right now, is a great third starter for the Sox and I think that he will rebound in his next outing. Every pitcher has bad starts, but I have a lot of faith in Danks that these types of performances will be few and far between.

Thomas Barbee:
I wouldn't say it's the start of a trend, but like his brethren Jose Contreras and Floyd, Danks has got to get ahead of hitters.

The problem spots for Danks appear when his breaking ball isn't working — and with this cold weather, that's going to happen — he over thinks and starts losing himself with his mechanics.

While Danks has had a full year under his belt, he still has a lot to learn, so
you have to expect some bad outings. What's been the key so far this year though is that each of the guys have been picking each other up, getting much needed wins.

TJ March:
I think John Danks will land somewhere in the middle of his two most recent starts. He will not be carrying a no-hitter into the eighth every game, but he certainly will not be getting lit up every outing as well. He is going to be a fine third or fourth starter.

Jake Widlowski: I hope not, but it could possibly be an obvious sign. He looked very poor against Minnesota. However, I was at the game on Wednesday and from where I was sitting he looked very good. But on paper — not so good!

Steve Jankowski: No, I heard that in the offseason he watched video of himself pitching and saw a lot of bad things he was doing, and I think he'll learn from his mistakes Wednesday and work them out and be fine in the long run.

Aaron Rusnak:
No. Everyone's going to have poor games.  Buehrle had his, Vazquez had his, and Contreras has been not good on either start. He'll shake it off and be alright.

JJ Stankevitz: Despite the poor outing against Minnesota, I’m still confident about Danks. I really like what he brings to the table in terms of stuff with the addition of his cut fastball, and it just comes down to him finding a groove and throwing strikes.

The combination of the cold weather and Minnesota’s “Piranhas” made it very hard for him to find that groove on Wednesday, but I think he’ll settle back in and pitch well tonight against Oakland (famous last words, I know).

Now that Joe Crede is showing that he still can hit in the majors, do you even consider trading him?

Isaac Sorsa: Simply put, no. Crede is a great locker room guy, and with us playing as well as we are, I think we should follow the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy.

Let's think about contract stuff in the offseason and try to win a World Series this year.

Dieter Kurtenbach: It's been two weeks for Joe. At this point it would be foolish to trade him, but it's still April and to judge what the Sox will do with Crede now would be foolish.

That said, if the Sox are in the same position on July 4, I say you finish the season with Joe and then offer him a contract.

If he isn't signed, you don't really lose much, because you have a nice backup plan in Fields, but if he does sign, you have the ability to move Fields to the outfield, or to a team like the Giants or Dodgers.

Thomas Barbee: No, I don't. Much like the Jerry Owens situation, when you have guys playing as well as they are right now, you don't make any changes unless they're needed.

That being said, I don't trade Josh Fields either, as he will most certainly play a huge role on the team during the second half of the season (not to mention the future). If the Sox needed to move guys for pitching, I'd be more inclined to look at trading Jermaine Dye or Jim Thome.

Given the Sox's surplus in the outfield and having a guy with the offensive talent that Fields has, they could potentially make such a move without completely hurting their lineup.

TJ March: Yes, Crede's return to patience at the plate and at the hot corner has led me to believe that it might even be the best option. With the need for a reliable starter, Josh Fields is an exceptional trading chip.

In my never-to-be-humble opinion, the Sox management sucks up their pride about not dealing with Scott Boras, makes a deal with "Joe, Joe, the late inning Hero," and packages Fields for a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

Jake Widlowski: I am still a big fan of Joe Crede, so no, I don't think he should be traded at all. We have another great third baseman with Fields, but as of now I think he should be the trade bait and not Crede.

Steve Jankowski:
This is such a tough question, because if he continues hitting this way, and you do trade him, you can command a lot more in return to help fix other areas of the club. 

But I would only trade him if I knew I can get equal or greater value in return to help other areas of the team, since we know we have a proven commodity at third in Josh Fields.

Aaron Rusnak:
God, no. I'd be okay with giving him an extension and trading Fields. Actually, I was okay with that before spring training.

JJ Stankevitz:
While Crede’s trade value may never be higher than it is now, we’re only 11 games into the season. It’s far too early to think about trading Crede, especially after the impact he’s had on the team in these first two weeks.

While we may be able to net a middle-of-the-rotation starter for him, trading Crede likely would upset the clubhouse chemistry that has been so good this year.

Now, if the Sox fall out of contention by late May or early June, then you get him off the team ASAP and get Fields some playing time in the majors.

Also, if you trade Crede and a guy like Thome gets hurt, you don't have a good backup plan to DH like Fields would be.

And you see Detroit playing this poorly all year?

Isaac Sorsa: I never thought Detroit was as good as the media portrayed them after the Cabrera trade. The Tigers have major holes in their bullpen and their starting pitching is average.

I also look at their lineup when they are healthy and I don't think it is any better than it was last year.

Granderson, Magglio, and Polanco all played out of their minds last year. Gary Sheffield and Pudge Rodriguez aren't getting any younger and I think the additions of Cabrera and Renteria only make their offense as good as it was last season.

They will end up an 82-88 win team, but they are not a championship contender.

Dieter Kurtenbach:
The Detroit Tigers are the 2007 Chicago White Sox.

Thomas Barbee: No, and I'm hoping that people don't start to count them out either. No team, no matter how much money they spend, is immune to injuries, and that's the main problem with the Tigers ball club right now.

As I've said before, with their leadoff superstar, Curtis Granderson, and top two bullpen guys (Joel Zumaya and Francisco Rodney) all gone, it's pretty difficult for the Tigers to win.

The offense will come around as we head into the summer, but until the team is able to function on all cylinders with the return of Granderson, they won't be able to
match the predictions many had during the preseason.

All Sox fans know, more or less, what the Tigers are going through right now as we had to deal with the effects of not having Podsednik in our lineup during the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

TJ March: I don't think their offense will struggle the whole year, unless they are pulling an '07 White Sox.

However, their pitching will continue to struggle. Verlander, Rogers, and Bonderman are dealing with lingering injuries. Dontrelle Willis is now on the DL and coming off a year with a 5.17 ERA in the NL. And Robertson is not the pitcher that the White Sox thought he as when they attempted to draft and sign him — twice.

Their bullpen is even worse. With both setup men on the DL, they have too many youngsters that they are relying on. In addition to Jason Grilli, who, as Sox fans know too well, is terrible in his own right.

Jake Widlowski:
The Tigers will not play THIS poor all season, but I feel they have already taken themselves out of contention.

They will improve as a team as the season progresses, but they will still struggle to reach .500 by season's end. The American League Central is so tough this year with the Indians and Sox that the Tigers are already too far behind.

Expect the Tigers to catch their stride in probably mid-May, but it will already be too late for them at that point.

Steve Jankowski: No, they're too good, but then again, that's what everyone was saying about last year's White Sox.  We'll have to wait and see...

Aaron Rusnak: No, but we can only hope.

JJ Stankevitz: It honestly wouldn’t surprise me at this point.

The lineup will improve when Curtis Granderson returns and Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Guillen get rid of their nagging injuries, but these won’t help their pitching staff.

Even Justin Verlander has struggled this year, meaning that there really isn’t a bright spot in this ragtag group of pitchers. Detroit may finish this season in the bottom five in a slew of pitching categories, and that could easily lead to them finishing below .500.

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