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White Sox break up lefties in rotation

White Sox break up lefties in rotation

SAN FRANCISCO -- Beginning with next week's three-game home set against Cleveland, the White Sox starting rotation will have a new look.

None of the five starters who have combined to post a 3.18 ERA entering Friday's contest against the Giants will be replaced, of course. Their order simply will be slightly adjusted.

"This is not official, but it's as close to official as it gets," said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper prior to Friday's Interleague opener in San Francisco.

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Basically, this new plan has been designed, in part, to break up left-handers Mark Buehrle and John Danks working in back-to-back games. The duo has pitched on consecutive nights since April 14 for Buehrle and April 15 for Danks.

Buehrle has lost all five of his decisions during this stretch, while Danks has posted a 3-2 record. With Monday's day off, Buehrle will pitch Saturday evening and then come back on regular rest in Thursday night's series finale against the first-place Indians.

Gavin Floyd, Friday's starter, gets two extra days of rest before pitching next Friday at home against the Angels. Danks has one extra day coming before his start Saturday.

"We just tried to keep everyone close to what they need to be on in their specific schedules," said Cooper, who said throwing veterans such as Jose Contreras, Javier Vazquez and Buehrle against the Indians had nothing to do with the change.

"It's the same reasons we do it all the time. We look a little at matchups, and we look at whose day it is and how much rest they have without getting too much. And we run the guys out there who are throwing the ball better.

"There's no absolute science to it," Cooper added. "We had the lefties together for an extended period, and it went well, I thought. We might go back to it."

After Monday's off-day, the White Sox play 13 straight games until June 2. They follow that stretch by having every Monday off, aside from June 30, until July 21. So, as Cooper said, the rotation could change again.

"Let me say this," Cooper said. "Whoever is out there that day is our No. 1."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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