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posted: 6/17/2012 7:58 PM

Rongey: Healthy Danks would be a big advantage

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  • Chicago White Sox starting pitcher John Danks delivers during the second inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in Chicago.

      Chicago White Sox starting pitcher John Danks delivers during the second inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in Chicago.
    Associated Press

  • Chicago White Sox's Adam Dunn (32) hits a two-run home run as umpire Scott Barry, second from right, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, right, and starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, bottom, look on during the first inning of their baseball game on Friday, June 15, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

      Chicago White Sox's Adam Dunn (32) hits a two-run home run as umpire Scott Barry, second from right, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, right, and starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, bottom, look on during the first inning of their baseball game on Friday, June 15, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

 
 

Q: Should the White Sox be concerned with John Danks' latest setback?

A: Though the two main AL Central Division rivals in the Tigers and Indians are not exactly boasting great rotations, the Sox need to be able to set themselves apart from those teams by pitching well on the front end. Should Danks miss more time, it would make the chore of winning the Central that much more difficult.

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Certainly, Danks wasn't having a stellar season (5.70 ERA in 9 starts), but I never felt that would persist all year. Eventually, he'll emerge from that, I think.

However, if his injury lingers, the Sox may have difficulty in filling that vacancy. It wouldn't be a death knell for them, but they can use every advantage they can get.

For Danks, himself, I only hope it isn't something that hangs around. He's competitive and, like most players, wants to earn his new contract.

Q: Does Adam Dunn deserve to go to the All-Star Game?

A: No question. Nobody in baseball has more home runs and his OPS over .950 is almost 400 points better than last year.

Even with the bar set low prior to the season, this is a very good year by the DH. We don't even need to use the phrase, "compared to last year" to qualify the 2012 version of Adam Dunn.

As for actually playing in the game, I don't really care much if he does. In fact, I'd be OK if no Sox players participated.

In general, when it comes to the All-Star Game, I like my team's guys to get the honor, but I'd be perfectly fine if they sat it out. Though the odds of injury aren't great, I'd prefer to avoid the risk and I like them to get rest when they can.

Q: What kind of buzz will be going on when the Cubs visit U.S. Cellular Field this week?

A: I think it will be similar to what we saw at Wrigley Field earlier in the year. The crowd will be larger than we're used to at U.S. Cellular Field this season, but we have to remember there was plenty of apathy that prefaced this season on both sides of town.

In this city, it takes awhile to reverse the momentum of that apathy.

Q: What's been the biggest problem with Philip Humber since the perfect game?

A: He's just not throwing enough strikes early in the count, which is driving up his pitch totals and forcing him to throw pitches that are too good and too hittable.

One reason he's not getting ahead is that he's not throwing offspeed and breaking balls for strikes (just look to his last start Saturday). It means he's not fooling many hitters and they're able to wait on a low 90s fastball that is fairly straight.

It's no secret a pitcher has to get something over the plate, other than a fastball. If he can't, he's going to lose.

• Chris Rongey is the host of the White Sox pregame and postgame shows on WSCR 670-AM The Score. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRongey and at chrisrongey.com. Subscriber Total Access members can email him questions each week via our online link.

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