We have seen a lot of dominate pitchers in the past. From Freddy Garcia and Mark Buehrle to John Danks and Chris Sale, the White Sox have managed to produce their share top quality pitching. And while the 2017 season doesn’t include any Cy Young award winners, there are some exceptional pitchers on the White Sox roster that are VERY underrated and extremely good. In fact, with the combination of all the White Sox pitchers, they combine to form one of the best pitching staffs in the MLB. That said, Jose Quintana, the rock-solid left hander, has been anything but.
After being predicted by multiple MLB insiders to win the A.L. Cy Young Award, Quintana has decided screw over the White Sox by diminishing his trade value. The White Sox No. 1 pitcher has started off the season 0-3, and backing it up with a 6.75 ERA doesn’t make it look any better. The only way that the White Sox pitching staff can be proved to be one of the best in the league is without Jose Quintana.
The White Sox starting rotation goes something like Quintana, Carlos Rodon (DL), James Shields, Miguel Gonzalez, Derek Holland and Dylan Covey if needed. At first glance, this seemed like at the most an average pitching staff, but looks can be deceiving. Looking at the starting rotation and bullpen without Quintana, it is pretty incredible how dominant these guys have been.
Ok, even though he hasn’t pitched yet this year due to his injury, its safe to say that he will continue to improve. His slider is absolute filth, and will be fun to watch once he returns.
A lot of fans thought that James Shields would continued to get rocked this year, even though he posted 1.78 ERA last July. Shields is starting this year off in the right direction with a 1-0 record, including pitching in the first win of the year for the White Sox. His change-up is his key pitch, and when that’s on fire, he’s on fire. The White Sox will most likely be looking to trade Shields towards the deadline as well, and if he keeps this up, Rick Hahn could be looking at adding even more talented prospects to Triple-A Charlotte.
Probably the most underrated pitchers on the team, Gonzalez has started off the year on the right note. Although his ERA right now is above his a career average, he has been dominating on the mound. At age 32, Gonzalez is continuing to dominate opposing batters. He is tied for 2nd with Shields on the team for strikeouts with 11 on the year.
A player who Rick Hahn was hoping to be able to flip towards the end of the summer has shown that he is one of the most dominate pitchers in the Central Division, if not the American League. With a 1.50 ERA and a 1-1 record, Holland has never been this good. Did I mention that he one-hit the defending American League champs the Cleveland Indians?
Even though Covey will only be used once in a while, and then most likely never once Rodon returns, he shined in his MLB debut, giving up only one run to the division-leading Minnesota Twins.
The White Sox closer must really want to be traded to a postseason contender this year because he is putting up some great numbers. He has 3 saves in 3 opportunities, along with a team high 0.20 WHIP. He has 10 strikeouts to his impressive 0 walks, which is something that killed him last year.
Jones is probably the only other White Sox pitcher besides Quintana that has started off a little rough. Fortunately, he has started to get back on track. He has only allowed one home run in 6 1/3 innings pitched, and has dragged down his ERA to 4.26.
Another solid pitcher in the White Sox bullpen, Jennings is having a comeback season. At age 30, he is well below his career ERA and has started off the season 1-0. He has appeared in 6 games and has given up only 1 run and 4 hits.
A Dominant Staff
So overall, it is pretty easy to say that the White Sox still have a dominant pitching staff, even though Chris Sale is gone, Quintana has not had his stuff, and Carlos Rodon hasn’t even stepped on the mound yet. The White Sox are currently ranked 2nd best in the MLB with a 2.71 ERA, and 5th in Batting Average Against. This is including Quintana.
How about we take out the White Sox #1 pitcher. Without Quintana, the team shows much improvement. Excluding the ace, the White Sox pitchers who have at least one inning pitched have a combined ERA of 1.57. If you don’t believe me, then go and do the math for yourself.
Still not convinced? Try to argue this one. Together, the 13 White Sox pitchers that have seen action this year have an impressive WHIP of 1.20. As you may have guessed, it will be better without Jose. In fact, it is .12 better at a stellar. 1.08, which would put the White Sox 3rd best in the league in that category.
Now the question comes up, should the White Sox trade Quintana while his trade value is still high? Well, one thing is sure is that this is not the permanent Jose Quintana. Like James Shields last year, Quintana is currently in a slump, it just happens to be in the beginning of the season. Remember, this is the same pitcher who no-hit team America through 5 2/3 innings in the World Baseball Classic.
Before that decision can be made, we have to do what the White Sox have been saying throughout the entire offseason: what does the future look like? Down in Triple-A Charlotte, Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito highlight the pitching prospects, backed up by closer Zack Burdi and potential starting pitcher Michael Kopech down in Double-A
As for now, the future pitching staff looks bright for the White Sox. What Rick Hahn will be looking at is how Quintana continues to pitch until the All-Star break and the success of the prospects in the minors.
In short, the White Sox have one of the best pitching staff’s in the MLB, and they are even better and possibly the best without their starting ace Jose Quintana.