White Sox general manager Kenny Williams did his part. With Chris Sale and Jake Peavy anchoring the White Sox pitching staff, and Jose Quintana pitching as a solid number three, Williams decided to go out and acquire Fransisco Liriano from the Minnesota Twins in an attempt to help bolster a rotation that was strong on top and a question mark at best on the bottom.
Since coming to the White Sox, Liriano has gone 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA. While the ERA is high, he hasn’t been losing games, and come August and September, that is what matters. Liriano has also provided the bullpen some needed rest at times, simply because the bottom of the rotation hasn’t been able to get it done.
The problem with that is that’s what Williams has been counting on for this team to continue to hold off the Detroit Tigers. It has been the job of Gavin Floyd to help bring consistency throughout the rotation. After having all the potential in the world, Floyd has basically been asked to be a fifth starter for this team with the addition of Liriano.
This season, Floyd is 9-9 with a 4.55 ERA. Strangely, that is pretty much his career numbers, as his record stands at 67-64 with a 4.50 ERA. What has always been so attractive about Floyd is his ability to have dominant months, ones in which he could carry a pitching staff with eight innings of dominant baseball.
We have seen that just once from Floyd this season, in July, and now he finds himself on the disabled list. In the month of August, Floyd had an ERA near six, and a DL stint may be just what he needed to give the White Sox the extra push into the playoffs. Problem is, they have been looking for that extra push all season.
What has hurt Floyd most this year is the way he has started the game. Pitches 1-15 of the game, hitters are batting .341/.418/.577 off Floyd with seven home runs and 20 RBI. It seems like his offspeed pitches take about 30 pitches before they start to come around, and it leaves many White Sox fans wondering about the pre-game routine of a man who seems to be anything but warm to start a game.
When Floyd comes back, assuming he comes back, in mid-September, the White Sox will need for him to have his best three or four outings he has had all season. As play-by-play announcer Hawk Harrelson might say, “He’s due.” You can’t blame Williams for not trying. If you would have said that by season’s end, Floyd would be able to slide down to the fifth spot in the rotation, I would have felt a lot more comfortable than I did to begin the season. With two weeks to think about it, Floyd will have to be at his best when he returns. The playoffs could depend on it.
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