BALTIMORE -- Through Saturday's home start against the Royals, the White Sox will be operating with a six-man starting rotation.
That alignment means rookie Zach Stewart will make his second start for the South Siders on Friday and Jake Peavy will take the mound on Saturday. But with three off-days mixed in from Aug. 15-25, the White Sox are far removed from going back to a permanent six-man setup.
In fact, White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper talked about using a four-man rotation prior to Monday's series opener with the Orioles.
"It has been on my mind the last couple of days. I'm not sure," said Cooper of a four-man staff. "With [Mark] Buehrle pitching as well as he has, you are tempted to say, 'Let's run him out there.'
"Again, it is what it is right now. We are going to look into it. Get the hottest guys out there."
Although a four-man rotation is more likely down the home stretch of a drive toward the American League Central title, the frequent employment of a six-man rotation since early May will have the White Sox starters well rested. Stewart, who won his White Sox debut on Saturday at Target Field, doesn't feel moving between the bullpen and rotation will be much of an adjustment.
Wednesday's starter Philip Humber also would figure to get bumped temporarily, with the White Sox concerned about the right-hander approaching his single-season innings high-water mark.
"We are going to reassess," said Cooper, speaking of the rotation after next Monday's off-day. "We have something down on paper but nothing official. We have to see how it goes. If we have a good week, and we ain't had a good week, if we get hot, you never know. We have a good series, and we will have to relook at it."
"Wherever they need me to go, starting or bullpen, I'll do what I can to contribute," Stewart said.