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June 27, 2011

Transaction Analysis Blog

White Sox Disable Danks

by R.J. Anderson

CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Chicago White Sox
Placed LHP John Danks on the 15-day disabled list. [6/27]
Purchased the contract of LHP Hector Santiago from Double-A Birmingham. [6/27]

And there goes the six-man rotation plans, right out the window. Danks heads to the disabled list after leaving Saturday’s start in the second inning with a strained oblique. The Collateral Damage boys have more on the injury.

A look at Danks’ 3-8 record and 95 ERA+ (the second-lowest of his career) indicate time off might do him some good, however the peripheral-based run average metrics do not tend to agree. Danks has a 4.31 SIERA—equal to his 2009 mark—and his FRA is lower in 2011 than it was in 2009 as well. The 2009 season is somewhat relevant for Danks, as he managed his second-best season as a professional, should you go by ERA+. If Danks peripherals are not too far off from that season this year, then perhaps he has not pitched so poorly after all.

Sometimes the peripherals can lie about a performance, though, and a pitcher is just getting the stuffing beat out of him. Danks has had a few stinkers this season, no doubt—including a game where he allowed nine runs in four innings pitched—yet 60 percent of his starts have registered as quality. Below is a table that shows Danks’ ERA, Run Average per nine, Quality Start percentage, and the White Sox’s winning percentage in his starts:

Season

ERA

RA

QS%

Tm Win%

2007

5.50

5.96

31%

34.6%

2008

3.32

3.42

58%

54.5%

2009

3.77

4.00

63%

50.0%

2010

3.72

3.93

66%

50.0%

2011

4.21

4.50

60%

33.3%

Getting 60 percent of quality starts should earn a few more wins than one for every three tries. Gavin Floyd has 50 percent quality starts, yet the White Sox have won nearly 43 percent of his games, and Edwin Jackson has quality starts in 47 percent of his starts, but the White Sox have won his starts as often as they win for Danks. There is something to be said for run support too, and Danks have the lowest on staff at three runs for every nine innings—the next lowest is Jackson, who gets 3.7 runs of support per nine innings.

It may not necessarily seem like it, but the White Sox are going to miss Danks in their hunt to cut into the Tigers 4 1/2 games lead in the American League Central.


R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

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