Shoring up the rotation

Anibal loves it when a plan comes together.

So just when we though that everything was coming up roses and Philip Humber was back in the rotation, Gavin Floyd had to go and ruin everything by getting tendonitis. What a jerk! While it would have been nice having 80% of the true starting rotation actually part of the rotation again, it seems that it's not meant to be for at least one more week (though I'd bet on a bit longer).

And yes, Jose Quintana has done a masterful job of filling in for the injured John Danks. Dylan Axelrod is even holding his own against some of the better offenses in the American League. But like any sane person, I worry about how much longer that can keep happening. With the trade deadline fast approaching, there has unsurprisingly been talk of the White Sox scouting potentially available starting pitchers from both leagues. But who should they go after (as if the picture didn't totally give it away)?

Much like you, I would love to see Zack Greinke pitching for the Pale Hose. But seeing as he's likely the top or second best (depending on your feelings about Cole Hamels) pitcher on the trading block and only a half-season rental, I'd rather not give up the talent it's probably going to take to get him. Obviously the same caveat applies to Hamels. Matt Garza will also cost a ton, seeing as he still has another year of team control with him. Pass. And while I wouldn't be upset about seeing Ryan Dempster in black and silver, there's another pitcher I'd rather have: Anibal Sanchez.

While Sanchez's age (28) doesn't matter as much since he'd likely just be a rental, I have more faith in someone under 30 to stay healthy. And yes, he's had injury problems in the past but not in the past two and a half seasons. He's owed a little over $3MM for the rest of the season and it's becoming more and more unlikely by the day that the Miami Marlins have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs this season. And while it will still cost a prospect or one of our rookie pitchers, the price is going to be considerably lower than it would be for quite a few other starting pitchers on the market. But what is my main reason for thinking he could succeed in Chicago?

For his career, Anibal has a 44.5% groundball rate. He gives up 0.8 HR/9. Yes, it's probable that his HR/9 would elevate moving both from the NL and what had historically been difficult parks to hit homeruns in to the AL and U.S. Cellular Field. But the groundball percentage won't change much, if at all. And the Sox happen to employ a pretty strong defensive infield. Combine that with his K/BB around 3 and you have a very effective pitcher who slots into the rotation quite nicely to replace Danks until he is ready to come back or takeover for someone else should another injury occur. But yeah, just imagine a playoff rotation of Peavy/Sale/Sanchez/Danks or Floyd. I appear to have just broken my coffee table from knocking on it too hard.


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