04/18/08 7:21 PM ET
White Sox to shuffle starting rotation
Rotation to be altered to accomodate Monday's off-day
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
Bench coach Joey Cora confirmed that the rotation for the home series vs. the Yankees will feature Jose Contreras, Vazquez and Gavin Floyd. The decision is the result of several factors, one of which being Vazquez's tenancies as a creature of habit, as the right-hander prefers to keep his starts five days apart.
Veteran Mark Buehrle is scheduled to pitch Saturday against Tampa Bay, and with the rotation switch, his next start will be delayed slightly. The lefty will likely get the ball on Friday, when the Sox host Baltimore.
A shift in the rotation is nothing new for Chicago, as the White Sox reworked the lineup following a rainout vs. Minnesota on April 10. With matchups against lefty-heavy batting clubs like Oakland and Tampa Bay this past week, Chicago opted to have Danks follow fellow southpaw Buehrle, instead of sandwiching Vazquez in between.
All the switches have done little to upset the delicate balance often associated with pitchers' performance on the mound. Through the last six games, Sox starters have posted an ERA of 0.64, allowing only three earned runs over 42 innings. Going into Friday's contest, Vazquez had not allowed a run over his last 10 innings, and ranked third in the American League in strikeouts.
Although, the White Sox don't mind making changes in their rotation order, manager Ozzie Guillen was adamant about keeping the rest of the ballclub, and the team's chemistry, intact.
After opting to keep outfielder Jerry Owens in Triple-A, Guillen said he will continue to use predominantly the same lineup that has led the Sox a 9-6 record entering Friday.
Following a tough extra-innings loss late Thursday night, Guillen said he doesn't expect to win every game, but he expects the same thing from every player, regardless.
"I told the team [following Thursday's loss], 'We got here one way, and we expect to do things one way ... I want to see the same attitude, no matter where you are, no matter what you do,'" he said.
Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.