Q: Should the White Sox be concerned with John Danksí 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.
Certainly, Danks wasnít having a stellar season (5.70 ERA in 9 starts), but I never felt that would persist all year. Eventually, heíll emerge from that, I think.
However, if his injury lingers, the Sox may have difficulty in filling that vacancy. It wouldnít be a death knell for them, but they can use every advantage they can get.
For Danks, himself, I only hope it isnít something that hangs around. Heís 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 donít even need to use the phrase, ďcompared to last yearĒ to qualify the 2012 version of Adam Dunn.
As for actually playing in the game, I donít really care much if he does. In fact, Iíd be OK if no Sox players participated.
In general, when it comes to the All-Star Game, I like my teamís guys to get the honor, but Iíd be perfectly fine if they sat it out. Though the odds of injury arenít great, Iíd 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 weíre 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: Whatís been the biggest problem with Philip Humber since the perfect game?
A: Heís 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 heís not getting ahead is that heís not throwing offspeed and breaking balls for strikes (just look to his last start Saturday). It means heís not fooling many hitters and theyíre able to wait on a low 90s fastball that is fairly straight.
Itís no secret a pitcher has to get something over the plate, other than a fastball. If he canít, heís going to lose.
ü 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.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.