Team success top priority in rotation's makeup
Danks, Noesi most likely to be affected by Rodon's arrival
CHICAGO -- There is a delicate balance general manager Rick Hahn and the White Sox need to find between supporting the starters who currently occupy the fourth and fifth rotation spots, John Danks and Hector Noesi, and fostering top prospect Carlos Rodon's ascension to pitching every fifth day.
The White Sox certainly will move carefully and monitor Rodon's first-year innings by starting him in the bullpen for an undetermined amount of time. They also won't hesitate to make the move that best helps this team succeed as soon as they feel it's possible on all fronts.
"This is baseball at the big league level. Feelings aren't relevant," Hahn told MLB.com. "[White Sox manager] Robin [Ventura] and his staff are under instructions to put guys in the best position for the team to maximize their wins and for guys to have success.
"Guys know they are in their roles, whether it's rotation or starting lineup, because we believe they give us the best chance to win. They also know that if they don't succeed, regardless of what we have in terms of prospects in Triple-A or elsewhere on the roster, that ultimately they stand a chance to be replaced or lose that opportunity.
"Right now, I'm confident that everyone in that clubhouse, their direction is trying to win ballgames," Hahn said. "They want to do everything in their ability regardless of who else might be out there to help."
Danks stands as the longest-tenured member of the White Sox organization and is a highly-respected clubhouse leader. He's also coming off of a 2014 season in which he made 32 starts and pitched 193 2/3 innings.
Even deep into his pitching evolution following season-ending arthroscopic surgery in 2012, Danks is not a completely finished product. As Hahn pointed out, Danks' changeup has become a weapon and he battles to keep the White Sox in the game as he did with Monday's quality start.
"He's still learning himself and how to set hitters up more and not out-stuffing them like he was once able to do," said Hahn of Danks. "He's working his tail off and he gets it."
Both Danks and Noesi, Tuesday's starter, hold the ultimate confidence from the White Sox in their current roles. Noesi has previously pitched in relief, but it doesn't necessarily mean he eventually might be the odd man out -- even with Danks still owed $28.5 million over these final two years of his deal.
At this point, the White Sox are not there. Danks and Noesi are getting the ball every fifth day, and Rodon develops on the fast track.
"We'll go from there and keep an open mind going forward about what puts us in best position to win," Hahn said. "There's no date. Could be short. Could be long.
"Chris [Sale] was [in the bullpen] the entire season and next season. I don't think it's going to be that. It's not going to be based strictly on how the rotation is necessarily doing. It's got to be what's best for Carlos in getting him to be the front-end starter we think he can be."