The White Sox’ 2011 Rotation

The White Sox have five solid starters under team control for 2011 and no impact prospects ready to take over a rotation spot, so Chicago heads into this offseason with a clear sense of Ozzie Guillen's options for next year. Mark Buehrle, Jake Peavy, John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Edwin Jackson can all be retained for 2011 and all but Danks are already under contract.

Freddy Garcia's contract is up after the season, but he has said he'd like to return to the White Sox. The team doesn't have much MLB-ready pitching in the upper minors, so bringing Garcia back on a one-year deal would make some sense.

The White Sox have called on 27-year-old right-hander Carlos Torres to make occasional starts this year and last year, but he doesn't project as a regular starter. Baseball America explained before the season that Torres "profiles as a long reliever/ sixth starter" and that's how the White Sox have used him. His major league ERA (6.21) is high, but his minor league numbers are more respectable (3.52 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 4.0 BB/9).

Chris Sale, the team's 2010 first rounder, has yet to start a pro game, but could be converted back to starting. Sale would need minor experience out of the rotation before starting in the majors, but he could eventually join the team's rotation.

It's not hard to explain why the White Sox don't have much in the way of starting pitching prospects. They have traded a number of young pitchers away since last year, including John Ely, Daniel Hudson and Clayton Richard. However if the White Sox had held onto those pitchers, they wouldn't have Jackson, who has been tremendous for Chicago, or Peavy.

The White Sox could make more trades, of course, but their rotation appears set for 2011. They have to determine whether to sign Garcia or another similar pitcher, but they'll be able to focus on other parts of the team this offseason. That's a good thing, since their catcher, DH and first baseman hit free agency and their entire bullpen could be in flux. 


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