With Jose Contreras inevitably heading back to the bullpen after last night’s disaster, and with rampant speculation going unchecked about how Jake Peavy will ride into town to save the day this weekend, it seems a fine time to ask the more important question: is there anybody out there who didn’t see this coming?
Not Contreras’ breakdown specifically, but the whole back-end debacle, from Clayton Richard to D.J. Carrasco to Sweaty Freddy to Jose Contreras to Carlos Torres to (theoretically) Daniel Hudson to (also theoretically) Jake Peavy – and those last two names should, at this point, tell us all we need to know about the White Sox’ rotation. Promising rookies didn’t cut it, middle-of-the-road arms didn’t cut it, and the one-time Best Pitcher In The World didn’t cut it, so now the Sox’ only real hope comes in the form of either a totally unproven 22-year-old or a Cy Young winner two years removed from the crown.
Think about that for a second. Where a normal team plugs in a Brian Tallet or Kyle Lohse, the Sox have gone from banking on a miracle to gambling big to hoping against hope that either the new guy from San Diego is lights-out or the new kid from Old Dominion pitches like the new guy from San Diego. This is not a healthy way for a franchise to exist.
Speaking of psychotic playoff hopes, the Sox’ (second place!) 63-62 record puts them 8.5 out of the Wild Card. This would also land them in fourth place in every other division save for the National League Central, where they would sit in third, down half a game. . . to the Cubs. If Carol Slezak’s assertion in today’s Sun-Times about the Sox as model franchise is right, I can’t wait to be wrong.