White Sox may lighten load on rotation
Club could ease up veterans' innings, check out Hudson
CHICAGO -- The White Sox starting rotation is officially set only through Saturday's game against Boston, with Freddy Garcia and Gavin Floyd following Thursday's starter Carlos Torres to the mound.
Whether John Danks and Mark Buehrle make their next respective starts basically depends on how the White Sox perform over the next three games, including Thursday's makeup contest at Wrigley Field.
"We'll see how the next few days unfold," said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper.
Before this pitching tale goes any deeper, it should be pointed out that neither Buehrle nor Danks have any sort of physical issues. The same goes for Floyd and Garcia.
But the White Sox are cognizant of not piling extra innings upon Buehrle, Floyd and Danks by slightly reducing their workload in September, especially if the White Sox fall completely out of contention in the American League Central. As it is now, the team is hanging on by a less-than-sturdy thread.
Daniel Hudson joined reliever Jhonny Nunez as two more Minor League callups on Thursday, and the White Sox just might want to take a September look at Hudson. The 22-year-old right-hander, selected in the fifth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, has cruised through the White Sox Minor League system this year.
He posted a 14-5 record and 2.32 ERA over 26 starts between stints with Class A Kannapolis, Class A Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. Hudson also fanned 166 over 147 1/3 innings, but when asked about his potential role on Thursday, Hudson smiled and chose to simply focus on the excitement of his first big league callup.
"It's awesome, just an awesome experience so far," said Hudson. "I can't wait to get started."
"I didn't even know who he was," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen with a laugh. "He walked through the clubhouse, and I had to ask him who he was. Now, do we want this kid just to be here or are we going to start him and find a spot? We have a couple of kids who have pitched a lot of innings, but I first have to hear from [general manager] Kenny [Williams]."
Hudson credited better command within the strike zone as the primary reason for his 2009 development. He worked three innings Tuesday at Norfolk, so he would be on target to start Sunday if that plan was followed by the White Sox.
Jake Peavy also remains in play to take the mound at some point in September. Inactive since getting hit in the right elbow by a Wes Timmons line drive in an Aug. 24 Minor League rehab start, Peavy has been frustrated, although he plans to get out and play catch before Friday's series opener against Boston.
"If he had not been hit in the elbow, then he would have pitched today, tomorrow or the next day," said Cooper of Peavy, who was left with elbow soreness, inflammation and lack of motion after getting hit. "Now, we are trying to get him back quickly using the process of climbing with conditioning and arm strength, as well as feel of pitches. He's frustrated and wants in, but our decision is based on what is best for him."
"Obviously, I'd like to [pitch]," Peavy said. "You got to be healthy and in good shape to go out there and pitch, and certainly I'm trying to get there. It's been a month, and I've spent a countless number of hours in the training room. It gets old and frustrating."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.