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Rotation Conundrum

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I sit here almost 24 hours after Brandon McCarthy finished shutting down the Boston Red Sox, my mind racing with magic numbers, pitching match ups, and playoff scenarios, contemplating the impending decision that has to be made.

Brandon McCarthy needs to pitch. Every five days. In the White Sox rotation.

  • Orlando Hernandez has only one outing this season in which he allowed no runs. That was a 6 inning, 10 hit, 1 walk, tightrope act back in April against the Twins.
  • McCarthy has now shut out the two best offenses in baseball, for 7 or more innings, in their home parks, both of which are notorious hitter's parks.
  • El Duque has not pitched back-to-back 7+ inning outings this season.
  • McCarthy has a ridiculous 1.46 ERA in AAA and the majors since 'figuring it out.'
    IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA 67.2 41 11 11 15 57 4 1.46
  • El Duque, even though he has lowered his WHIP (1.14 vs. 1.63) considerably, actually has a higher ERA (4.97 vs. 4.88) since coming off the DL back in July. The contrast in those two numbers suggests that he's been unlucky in the second half, and lucky in the first.

At the very least, you have to give McCarthy another start just to see if his performance lately is nothing more than a fluke. What could it hurt? The division is pretty much locked up.

One argument against giving McCarthy more starts is how it would affect El Duque. He's a proud individual, and I don't think he'd take too kindly to pitching in the pen. But that's likely where he's headed in the post season.

Right now, you have to look at what's best for the team not only in the short term, but for the long haul as well. And McCarthy is the best option for both the present and future.