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updated: 7/20/2014 10:26 PM

Some help for questions that need answers

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  • Outfielder Dayan Viciedo is the kind of player a team could eventually regret trading, says Chris Rongey.

    Outfielder Dayan Viciedo is the kind of player a team could eventually regret trading, says Chris Rongey.
    Associated Press


Call this part of the season whatever you want: the second half, the post-all-star break.

It doesn't really matter what it's called because it's here and it comes with plenty of unanswered questions about the future, both near and distant.

Here are a couple you wish you had the answers for now. Instead, the uncertainty is causing you to develop acid reflux because your body can't handle the anxiety. I don't want that for you, so let me try to help.

• Can the starters keep up the recent trend?

With few exceptions (one of which being Sunday's game), White Sox starters have been terrific since the end of June. In fact, the group has been the best in the American League over the last three weeks or so, and one of the best in baseball overall.

This is a recent trend, and one that's long overdue. The Sox needed this badly, and it took three months before they finally got there.

That's not the fault of rotation's top three in Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and John Danks. Far more often than not, that group has been very good.

But, as I wrote last week, it's the fourth and fifth starters who have caused headaches this year.

However, there has been improvement lately with those two spots, in particular with Hector Noesi. As his time as a starter goes on, I've become increasingly comfortable with his outings.

It's a heck of a lot to ask a pitcher to train as a reliever during the off-season and spring training only to suddenly require them to begin starting games midway through the year. And with each outing, Noesi is making good progress.

As long as he continues that, the Sox' rotation should be in good shape the rest of season, even if the fifth starter spot is more unstable. I think it's safe to count on the others.

• Who, if anyone, will be traded before the deadline?

You know all of the likely candidates: Alexei Ramirez, John Danks, Adam Dunn, Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo. Sure, there could be a sleeper candidate in their somewhere, but these seem the most likely.

Regardless how this season is unfolding, the Sox are under no obligation to trade those first two unless they're getting back exactly what they want.

Mainly because both are under control for two more years and can fit into plans beyond this season. At this point, there is no shortstop in the White Sox' system as good as Ramirez, nor one as much of a known commodity. And for a team that's already trying to lock down a solid five-man rotation, losing Danks would make that job more difficult.

As for Viciedo, he could be one of those guys a team regrets letting go only to see him flourish elsewhere. You could make the argument that he's as far into his development as he will ever go, and you may be right. However, he also could be like Carlos Gomez, who didn't fulfill his all-star potential until five-plus years in the majors.

I'm on the fence about what I think the Sox should do with Viciedo, but if they find a better, immediate option, they'd have to take it.

• 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

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