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Rotation set to alternate lefties, righties

Rotation set to alternate lefties, righties

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The White Sox have split up their left-handed starters and their right-handed starters according to the initial rotation announced by manager Robin Ventura on Tuesday.

Felipe Paulino will follow Chris Sale to the mound next Wednesday, while Jose Quintana completes the first homestand on Thursday against the Twins. Erik Johnson and John Danks are set to work the first two games in Kansas City, giving the White Sox one full turn.

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People might be surprised by Paulino following Sale's second straight Opening Day appearance or Danks situated as the fifth starter. But Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper don't necessarily go by labels as much as they are trying to give the team its best chance to win every night. These assignments certainly will remain fluid throughout the course of the 2014 campaign.

"You are breaking up the lefties, but also the righties in there," Ventura said. "You feel solid with that. I think Johnny could be anywhere in there, right behind Chris."

Paulino hasn't pitched in a Major League game since June 2012 because of elbow and shoulder surgeries, Johnson is a rookie with five starts of big league experience and Danks is hoping to take a big step back to his more successful days at 20 months removed from arthroscopic shoulder surgery in August 2012. Even with those concerns, the White Sox look at this starting five as one of their strong suits.

"I feel good about them," said Ventura of his starting pitchers.

"Like Coop said, we have our No. 1 guy going every day," Sale said. "We have faith and trust in every guy."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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