White Sox looking for interim fifth starter

White Sox looking for interim fifth starter

CHICAGO -- In Mark Buehrle, Jake Peavy, John Danks and Gavin Floyd, the White Sox have an airtight front four in their rotation to stack up against anyone in the American League for at least the next couple of years.

That starting layout is part of the beauty in acquiring a former National League Cy Young winner on Friday such as Peavy, who is under contract for the next three years. But for at least the next month, with Clayton Richard being moved to San Diego as part of the Peavy deal, the White Sox need a fifth starter to work behind Buehrle, Danks, Floyd and Jose Contreras.

On Friday against the Yankees, that honor went to D.J. Carrasco, the accomplished long reliever, who told MLB.com as far back as Spring Training about his desire to get another chance at being part of the rotation. Carrasco, 32, made 20 starts in 21 appearances for Kansas City in 2005.

After Carrasco's spot performance, though, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is undecided as to who will follow.

"I don't know. I don't know when [Peavy] can be here, I don't know when he can pitch," Guillen said. "We have another five days to think about who can be here."

General manager Ken Williams mentioned on Friday as to how Peavy, who has been on the disabled list with a strained tendon in his right ankle since June 13, will get on the mound Saturday. He will start an injury rehab program on Aug. 13 or 15 to get himself back into pitching shape after missing two months of the season.

Peavy is expected back pitching at the Major League level in late August, but should that absence extend to early September, what other fifth-starter options do the White Sox possess?

Factor in four off-days between Saturday and Sept. 11, and the White Sox will only need a fifth man for five starts -- Aug. 10, 25 and 30, and Sept. 4 and 9. Choices other than Carrasco range from Carlos Torres, who came up from Triple-A Charlotte to make a spot-start on July 22 against the Rays, Freddy Garcia or currently disabled Bartolo Colon. Garcia was scheduled to start for Bristol on Friday, but the game was rained out.

"We'll figure it out," Guillen said. "I like Torres, the way he threw last time. I'd like to see how Freddy's feeling, but I don't think we should push Freddy too quick. We might keep Carrasco.

"It depends on how Carrasco throws today. We can keep him in the rotation and bring in another guy to help us in the bullpen."

By those September fifth-starter dates, the White Sox hope to have Peavy in the mix.

"We have enough to take care of that spot and keep the train rolling," Williams said.

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