Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 4/29/12
Currently riding a 5-game losing streak but still very close to first place in the  AL Central, the 10-11 White Sox have had quite the roller coaster of an April. They have had two impressive winning streaks but have followed them up with disappointing series, not being able to put together any prolonged success to this point.

As all of you know, hitting can win you games, but pitching wins you championships. So after the first 21 games of the 2012 campaign, I think it’s a good time to take a step back and have an in-depth look into the White Sox rotation.

It's time for Robin to pull out a motivational tool and get the White Sox back on track. Photo courtesy John Smierciak via AP

What We’ve Seen:

So far, I would grade the White Sox rotation at about an A-.

While the pitching staff has let up 10 runs in two of its last three games, the starters overall have been able to keep the team in nearly every game and has suffered a couple very tough losses in which good pitching performances were spoiled.

The positives in the rotation are easy to highlight, as veteran Jake Peavy and youngster Chris Sale have been superb.

Peavy picked up his 1st loss of the season on Saturday, pitching a complete game and surrendering only 1 ER. Photo courtesy of www.realfansrealtalk.com.

Peavy clearly wants to be regarded as the no. 1 guy in the rotation, and so far is just that, as he’s pitching as well as anyone in baseball. Sale also has not faltered to this point, standing at 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA.

Gavin Floyd and Philip Humber have also been very solid, especially considering that they are not the guys that are expected to highlight the staff. Out of Floyd’s 4 starts, he’s kept us in the ball game in each of them, while the two that his stat line didn’t look so good were against pretty tough opponents, Texas and Baltimore. His other two starts have been phenomenal. I look for Gavin to be somewhere in between those extremes moving forward, which should be plenty to help the Sox win some ball games throughout the year.

To make it simple, I’d say that through Humber’s first 3 starts, he’s 2/3 in pitching good games. His performance in Seattle obviously was the most impressive, as he picked up the 21st perfect game in MLB history, so through the early goings he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

The Stumbling Ace

The only real concern to this point is the White Sox number 1 guy, John Danks. His stat line of 2-3 with a 6.23 ERA does his shaky start to the season justice. He’s struggling with the simple things so far, walking 15 batters in just over 30 innings pitched. From a pitcher that is supposed to have good control over not only his pitches, but also the pace of the game, that number is way too high.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the main thing for Danks is that he has to realize he is not filling the shoes of Mark Buehrle. At this moment in time, we aren’t looking for him to become an all-time White Sox great, we just want him to go out there and give us quality start after quality start, a task that we all know Johnny is very capable of doing.

His start on Friday could end up being very telling. I don’t think he’ll struggle quite that much throughout most of the year, but in a game that the White Sox really could have used a win, it was discouraging to see Danks go out there and struggle instead of being the stopper the Sox needed.

I see Danks’ struggles continuing forward for a while. I don’t think he’ll struggle as much as he did Friday, but I do think he’ll disappoint for a little while longer. I think too much pressure was put upon him, and the only way to lessen that pressure is time.

So after time, I do think Danks will settle in and be solid for the White Sox as a middle of the rotation guy, like he’s been before for this team.

But for right now, we can hope for two things: One, that I’m wrong; that Johnny does pick it up here in the immediate future. And two, that if I am right, he figures it out before it’s too late.

Sorry “Three Days Grace,” but in sports it can be too late eventually. Photo courtesy HOW2SAV3ALiFExo via Photobucket

*****

Follow all of Zach’s musings on the White Sox at GrabSomeBench.com and follow him on Twitter at @Grab_Some_Bench.

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