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Lefty-heavy rotation not a concern

Sale, Quintana, Rodon and Danks will be joined by sole righty Latos
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- Take a Major League rotation and fill it with four or five right-handed starters. It becomes about as newsworthy as a ground ball to short in the third inning of a 7-0 game.

Rearrange that same rotation with four left-handers, and it not only becomes a story but also potentially a concern.

CHICAGO -- Take a Major League rotation and fill it with four or five right-handed starters. It becomes about as newsworthy as a ground ball to short in the third inning of a 7-0 game.

Rearrange that same rotation with four left-handers, and it not only becomes a story but also potentially a concern.

The White Sox and Dodgers currently stand as the only two teams with this situation. Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon and John Danks are joined by the sole right-hander -- Mat Latos. For the South Siders, this resembles the alignment for a good part of the 2015 season.

Left is all right in their minds.

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"You get guys out," catcher Alex Avila said of the team's southpaw-heavy starting five. "I don't think it matters."

Added Danks, the longest-tenured White Sox player on the roster: "We are four different guys. You would have a hard time comparing me to Chris Sale or anyone to Chris."

Danks speaks the truth. Quintana and Danks mix in a cutter and a curve, while Rodon and Sale rely more on a fastball/slider/changeup combination with greater velocity. Rodon approaches his first full season as a rotation member learning the same lesson Sale did early on: utilize a devastating change to make his repertoire that much more dangerous.

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With Sale's various angles -- and high velocity -- the staff ace reminds people of Hall of Famer Randy Johnson. Then again, with four All-Star appearances to his credit, talented young pitchers now remind people of Sale.

"That's who we have and that's how we are going to go to war," pitching coach Don Cooper said. "Chris Sale isn't like Danks and Danks isn't like Rodon. The only consistency is that they throw with the left hand, but what they bring is all different types of pitches and stuff and angles."

Added Danks: "Even if that wasn't the case, I don't understand the problem with four lefties. Rotations have had four righties. We just have to go out there and do our job."

White Sox Spring Training info

One concern would be lining up three southpaws in the same series, even with their different styles. It gives a right-handed dominant lineup a chance to get into a groove.

Detroit presents such a lineup with Miguel Cabrera, Justin Upton, J.D. Martinez and Ian Kinsler among its eight starters hitting from the right side. Victor Martinez is a switch-hitter. 

"Certainly the idea of breaking up guys when you have platoons and not letting a guy get into a run against you during a three- or four-game series factors in somewhat to that," general manager Rick Hahn said. "When you are talking about Sale, Quintana and Rodon, three guys who any team in baseball would love to run out there as 60 percent of their rotation, that's the priority -- having the high-quality guys in the rotation regardless of handedness.

"I worry less about good pitchers. I worry more about good hitters, period, if that makes sense. Detroit has a lot of good hitters, and they also happen to be right handed. We have a lot of good starters who happen to be left handed."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chicago White Sox, John Danks, Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon, Chris Sale