Days of six starters soon coming to end
By daryl van schouwen firstname.lastname@example.org May 23, 2011 9:58PM
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher John Danks throws in the second inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Monday, May 23, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Matt Strasen)
Updated: June 25, 2011 12:34AM
ARLINGTON, Texas — The days of the White Sox’ six-man rotation appear to be numbered.
Manager Ozzie Guillen and pitching coach Don Cooper discussed a plan that likely will go into effect after this road trip, which ends June 1 in Boston.
The sextet has worked for the most part, so whoever gets bumped will have a legitimate beef about going to the bullpen.
‘‘It’s not about one guy; it’s about the ballclub,’’ Guillen said. ‘‘We don’t want to do it to anyone, but some guys can’t pitch with eight days’ rest.
‘‘Listen, they can think whatever they want to think. I have a job, and our job is to do the best for the team, not the best for the player. Sometimes when you do the best for the player, they don’t appreciate that, either. I will do what’s best for the ballclub.
‘‘They don’t have a choice because it’s about 25 guys. It’s about the Sox; it’s not about somebody’s name on the back. We’re going to do what’s best for the ballclub.’’
Right-hander Jake Peavy said the starters would have no problem readjusting to a five-man rotation because that’s what they’re conditioned for and used to. But in answering a question about how he feels after his 111-pitch, three-hit shutout last week against the Cleveland Indians, Peavy said he is appreciating the extra rest.
‘‘Everything is good,’’ Peavy said. ‘‘I threw a nice side [Saturday]. [Received] treatment. That extra day is so big. [Monday] should be my day [on four days’ rest], and I would have no problems pitching on this day. That extra day is big in recovery. Another day to feel better than you already do.’’
Thornton tweaks slider
Matt Thornton, who lost the closer’s role after four blown saves, has turned in five consecutive scoreless outings to lower his ERA to 5.93.
Thornton has modified his slider, going back to a harder, truer version from the slower, more curvy one he used to throw. He got a big strikeout against the Oakland Athletics’ David DeJesus with it, but his bread-and-butter pitch is still his
96 to 97 mph fastball.
‘‘It has a late cut when it’s right,’’ Thornton said. ‘‘Just a touch of cut where I get jams and broken bats. Hitters are geared up for a mid-90s fastball, and it cuts at the end. It’s a pretty tough pitch to handle.’’
Thornton got a two-inning save Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers and was ready to relieve Peavy last week, if needed. He said he’s comfortable anywhere from the seventh inning on.
‘‘People probably look and say, ‘He can’t handle the ninth inning,’ ’’ Thornton said. ‘‘That’s not the case at all. Sergio [Santos] earned the right, and he’s got the majority of save opportunities. So be it. I haven’t lost confidence in myself.’’
Shortstop Alexei Ramirez was named the American League player of the week after hitting .417 with a home run, six doubles, nine RBI and six runs scored in seven games. It was Ramirez’s first such honor.
◆ Outfielder Carlos Quentin was back in the lineup after missing two games with a sore left knee. Quentin said he might have tweaked it rounding a base.
‘‘It feels a lot better,’’ he said.
◆ Third baseman Mark Teahen hit flips and took swings off a tee, testing his strained oblique muscle.
‘‘It’s responding well to what we want to do,’’ Teahen said. ‘‘It’s one of those things [where] you want to be completely right before you’re back. You don’t want to redo it.’’
Teahen is eligible to come off the disabled list this weekend, but he didn’t rule out the possibility of a rehab assignment.