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posted: 8/6/2012 2:13 AM

Rongey: Back to a five-man rotation

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  • Pitcher Jake Peavy throws against the Minnesota Twins during the second inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Genevieve Ross)

      Pitcher Jake Peavy throws against the Minnesota Twins during the second inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Genevieve Ross)
    Associated Press

  • Philip Humber is headed to the bullpen for now, but Chris Rongey says don't be surprised if six-man rotation is revisited.

      Philip Humber is headed to the bullpen for now, but Chris Rongey says don't be surprised if six-man rotation is revisited.
    Associated Press

 
 

Q. What do you think is going to happen with the starting rotation. Keep it at six, or drop back to five?

A. Ultimately, there isn't anything to this team that is going to be more important than its health. If it's healthy, it's going to have a legitimate chance to win this division. If it's not, well

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As everyone knows, the White Sox have a pair of young starters in Chris Sale and Jose Quintana who never have been through this much work in one season, and a veteran starter who is pitching his first full year since 2008.

All of those guys should benefit tremendously from an extra day or two of rest as frequently as possible with the White Sox in the final third of the season.

Every team in baseball has some issues of some kind or another. That's inescapable.

And for the Sox, there is no greater concern than the health of its starting rotation down the stretch, which is exactly why they must exhaust every option to make sure they have the best opportunity at well-being late in September.

I thought they might stick with a six-man for the present, at least, but with the decision to put Philip Humber in the bullpen, it seems they go back to five. For now.

I'm not sure it would have been permanent in the sense that all six would have gotten a turn every single time through the rotation for the remainder of the season, but I thought it may have been a good idea, at least temporarily.

Now, I think they'll try this for a while, and while pitching coach Don Cooper says they do not have any current plans to go back to a six-man, I would not at all be surprised if they revisit that idea sooner than later.

Cooper is right in saying that, at some point, these guys have to pitch, but the Sox also will have to do their very best to make sure the staff is as fresh as can be for the final two months.

Q. Why have fans been coming out the last few weeks when there were so many empty seats early in the season?

A. I think it's as simple as the team is winning, and they've been doing so long enough that people are starting to believe in them.

Belief is the one thing that will drive fans to the ballpark. They will pay for a winner, and right now that's exactly what the Sox are doing.

Q. Kenny Williams said he's always looking to make the next move, but he also said he probably is done dealing. What do you think?

A. I will not be surprised either way, to be honest. I think there's no question he'd love to add one more reliable piece (whether it's a reliever or a more consistent bat off the bench).

It has happened in the past that a team low on the waiver-trade pecking order has landed a player it wants, but it is very difficult to do.

I would be surprised however, if Williams is able to land an impact player. The odds just are against a first-place team during this trading period.

•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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