With the White Sox's stretch of 20 consecutive games without an off day coming an end this afternoon, the future of the six-man rotation is up in the air. John Danks is set to start Friday against Detroit, but no announcements have been made beyond that point, and Ozzie Guillen isn't tipping his hand.
Gavin Floyd and the suddenly hot offense might have something to say about it. If Floyd struggles and Guillen needs to go deep into his bullpen, he might be tempted to shed a starter to add depth to his relief corps.
However, with the addition of Jeff Marquez and Brian Bruney to the roster, it seems to indicate that the Sox want to hold off on making that decision for as long as possible. That suits Jake Peavy just fine. He's been the most ardent proponent of the six-man rotation, and he once again voiced his support, both of the rotation and its most under-the-gun member:
"You have six deserving guys and six competing at the highest level and doing a good job. Now we've got some help in that bullpen. Things are shaking out just fine. I hope at the end of the day, it works to our advantage." [...]
"I know Johnny has had a couple of rough runs here lately, but people are quick to forget he was 0-5 or 0-6 and he was arguably the best pitcher on the staff," said Peavy of Danks, who had a 3.83 ERA when he was 0-5. "You've heard some people saying, 'Well, he might be odd man out.'
"There's not a chance. We got to have Johnny Danks. Phil Humber deserves every right to start. I don't see there's much we can do at this point and time. "
Obviously Peavy's not the manager (although sometimes he plays one on TV), but his success is crucial to the Sox not just this year, but in 2012, too. Based on Peavy's quote after Monday's start, Guillen still has to work on reining in Peavy. The six-man rotation seems to be a great safety device.
On the other hand, if Guillen did have to choose a starter to send to the bullpen, Edwin Jackson said he would swallow his pride and accept the assignment if he were the man.
It probably isn't going to be Phil Humber, considering he once again pitched well on Tuesday (or, as Colin and other skeptics might say, Humber performed in such a way that most people were pleased with the results that happened to him). J.J. points out that Humber did exactly what he was supposed to do with a huge lead -- throw strikes with a strike-throwing pitch until the hitters demand an adjustment.
According to FanGraphs' heat maps, Jesse Crain "utilized his slider to near perfection" in May. He threw it 82 times this past month, and opponents only could muster one hit off it.
You should sit down, because you're not going to believe this -- Joe Cowley thinks Guillen hasn't been rewarded enough.