Continued health of White Sox pitchers a concern

Updated 9/3/2012 11:28 PM

Q. What's your concern level with the White Sox heading down the stretch?

A. It's decent. I think that any time your team is part of a tight pennant race entering the final month of the season, you can always find a number of things to concern you.

Of course, coming off a terrible road trip in which the Sox get swept by the team directly behind them in the division and losing sole possession of first doesn't ease the concern.

Specific team issues, though, are the same as they've always been. The health of the team -- in particular, that of Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Jake Peavy -- will have just about everything to do with how well this team plays in the final month.

The White Sox need them to be good, otherwise the prospects of a division title are bleak.

Q. Earlier in the season, the Sox were awful at home and very good on the road. Now, it's the opposite. Any explanation?

A. It could be a number of smaller immeasurable reasons they've started to play better at home, but I think you can say safely that a home run hitting team playing half its games at US Cellular Field has plenty to do with it.

The Sox have the third-highest homer total in the league, and they usually win when they hit home runs.

Certainly, the players love to play in front of a large and energetic crowd, and the crowds lately have been very much involved. That can only help, but it likely isn't the biggest reason they've enjoyed success in their home park.

As for the White Sox' recent road struggles, it probably has everything to do with where they've played: Kansas City, Baltimore and Detroit. Those are places where the Sox have not had a whole lot of success the last couple of seasons.

Q. Which September call-ups do you think will most help the White Sox?

A. Considering my concerns listed earlier, I don't think there's any question the additional arms will have the greatest impact.

What Brian Omogrosso and Deunte Heath should provide the Sox is innings. Same thing goes for Leyson Septimo, who's just off the disable list.

There are a few guys in the pen who probably could use an extra night off or two due to heavy use (Nate Jones and Matt Thornton being near the top of the list).

Q. It has been a tough stretch for Paul Konerko. Do you think the unusual injuries (concussion, wrist, HBP in face) are taking a toll?

A. Obviously, he didn't have a good showing in Detroit at a time the Sox needed as much offense as they could get. However, there weren't many guys who did look good there.

Konerko has had his share of aches and pains this season, and it's completely possible it has caught up to him a bit, though I wouldn't say he has been bad since the concussion. He just hasn't been the Konerko we saw at the beginning of the season.

It's also no secret that the older a player gets, the tougher it is to physically get through a full season. That goes for just about everyone in their mid-to-upper 30s.

•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 Subscriber Total Access members can email him questions each week via our online link.

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