CHICAGO – For the second straight year, Ross Detwiler opened his season as a starting pitcher for the York (Pennsylvania) Revolution in the independent Atlantic League.
That says a lot about a player drafted No. 6 overall by the Washington Nationals in 2007.
Actually, it doesn’t say very much.
Now 33, Detwiler never lived up to the high draft status. He’s a career 23-42 with a 4.36 ERA in parts of 10 major league seasons with the Nationals, Rangers, Braves, Indians, Athletics and Mariners.
The left-hander still is in the game, and he might be starting for the White Sox in the near future.
On Saturday, the Sox signed Detwiler to a minor league contract and assigned him to Charlotte. He made his first start for the Triple-A Knights on Tuesday and allowed one run on seven hits in six innings while striking out 10.
The Sox re-evaluated Manny Bañuelos on Wednesday, a day after the left-hander had to leave his start against Cleveland in the fifth inning with a strained shoulder.
Considering he has been on the injured list a dozen times since 2009, the guess here is Bañuelos doesn’t make his next scheduled start, Monday at Houston.
So who does?
That’s a difficult question the Sox likely were trying to answer during Wednesday’s off-day.
In late April, the Sox released veteran starter Ervin Santana and shifted Bañuelos from the bullpen to the rotation.
In early May, Dylan Covey replaced Carlos Rodon, who was scheduled to have Tommy John surgery Wednesday and is expected to be sidelined until the second half of next season.
If Bañuelos can’t pitch, the Sox are going to have to make another adjustment, and they don’t appear to have many options outside of Detwiler.
Dylan Cease is the Sox’s top pitching prospect, but general manager Rick Hahn repeatedly has said he’s not going to rush the 23-year-old right-hander.
What about one of Cease’s rotation mates at Charlotte? A quick look at the numbers leads you back to Detwiler.
Donn Roach has a 10.25 ERA in six starts at Triple-A, followed by Jordan Stephens (9.48), Jordan Guerrero (8.31) and Spencer Adams (8.00).
The Sox might roll the dice and give Kyle Kubat a shot. A 26-year-old left-hander, Kubat is a combined 4-0 with a 0.84 ERA in seven starts with Double-A Birmingham and high A Winston-Salem this season.
The Sox have dealt with some tough injury news the past eight months, with Rodon, Michael Kopech and promising prospect Dane Dunning all going down with major elbow injuries.
Bañuelos is not viewed as a key piece for the Sox in the future, but he was being counted on to eat some innings this season. Now it looks like it’s the next arm up – assuming the Sox can find one.
“It just is what it is,” manager Rick Renteria said. “We’ll continue to manage it to the best of our ability. There’s nothing to point a finger at, no excuses to be made. We’ll do the best we can as we continue to move forward and try to find the pieces that continue to help us build and get better.”