The White Sox aren’t using today’s doubleheader against Detroit to tip their hand about any larger moves with their pitching rotation.
Tyler Danish will come up from Charlotte to make his first MLB start in the nightcap, with Mike Pelfrey starting the first game. While that doesn’t seem like best combination for bullpen preservation, the Tigers are in roughly the same shape. Stack up the resumes, and it could be a bloodbath.
Mike Pelfrey: He stifled the Mariners for his first White Sox win the last time out, but that merely lowered his ERA (5.26) to be in line with his still-ugly FIP (5.26). He’s only struck out 11 over 292⁄3 innings, and the Tigers should know him pretty well, since they cut him halfway into a two-year deal.
Buck Farmer: The 25-year-old is in his third year as a Detroit spot starter, but he’s still in search of his first win. He’s 0-6 with a 6.84 ERA over 32 games (eight starts). He’s limited the walks to 10 over 54 2⁄3 innings in Toledo this year, but that number has a habit of swelling with every call-up.
Tyler Danish: He’s having a nice bounce-back year at Charlotte, posting a 3.15 ERA with a 1.27 WHIP over 452⁄3 innings. It’s not the kind of year that suggests an immediate successful transition, because that ERA is softened by nine unearned runs, he’s only struck out 23 batters, and he doesn’t have that great of a ground-ball rate (50 percent) to compensate.
Matt Boyd: The lefty has a 5.38 ERA with peripherals to match in nine starts this season, and the White Sox have thrashed him to a .322/.385/.554 line in six starts, which adds up to a 5.90 ERA.
The over/under for the day’s scoring might be, what, 301⁄2?
Danish should be able to improve his MLB career numbers no matter how he fares, as his three-game introduction to the majors left him with a 10.80 ERA and this line: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K. The ERA isn’t a lock to go down, but the 5.4 baserunners per inning seems like it should drop by the end of the day.
The Sox’ larger pitching plans remain unseen. The probable pitchers page lists Derek Holland going Saturday and Miguel Gonzalez going Sunday, and then question marks afterward. Rick Renteria could have used Thursday’s off day to put Holland in the doubleheader, creating a better matchup for at least one of the doubleheader games, but maybe the injury histories involved make the extra day of rest advisable.
As it stands, it pushes back Dylan Covey’s next turn to Monday. Covey doesn’t seem likely to make that start considering he exited his last one in the third inning with a sore oblique, but there hasn’t been word.
It makes sense for the White Sox to not address Covey’s spot until they have to. For one, the longer Covey stays on the roster, the less time they have to account for on the back of a potential DL stint to get to those 90 active days needed to retain the Rule 5 pick. It also allows Reynaldo Lopez to coast past his service-time threshold without the appearance of impropriety, if that’s the way they want to go. He can be called up as soon as Sunday without the Sox losing a year of team control.
Should Lopez be the guy by next week, the Sox shouldn’t be accused of shenanigans. He’s only shown his good control every other appearance in Charlotte. Moreover, it’s not out of the question that he might need to return to Triple-A, making the precision of the promotion moot. The timing of a trial is rather convenient for the Sox’ larger goals, sure, but it’s also appropriate and within the sweet spot of good development.
We’ll find out tonight, as Lopez remains the scheduled starter in Charlotte. If he pitches as planned, then the attention turns to Sunday, when Carson Fulmer is supposed to go. His recent performance is the hang-up there, as he crossed the service-time marker more than a week ago. As of now, the scheduled starter on the Knights’ website is to be determined.
Update: The White Sox officially called up Danish as the 26th man. They also placed Covey on the disabled list and called up Juan Minaya. Covey’s trip is not retroactive.