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As the Rotations Turn

By Rachelle Bowden in News on Jun 1, 2004 4:53PM


The pitching rotations have been the biggest newsmakers on both sides of town in recent days. On the North Side, the biggest story is the imminent return of Mark Prior to the rotation. After a successful rehab start for AAA Iowa Cubs, Prior has been scheduled to pitch for the Cubs on Friday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

But all is not well in Wrigleyville. Greg Maddux felt a twinge in his side during his start on Monday. While Maddux was quick to proclaim the pain to be nothing, we heard similar reports about Prior's achilles during spring training.

Down on the South Side, the White Sox's attempts to solidify their fifth starter position has created a fair amount of drama in recent days. Called up from AAA Charlotte to start on Saturday, Jon Rauch quickly became the center of controversy when he left the park before the end of the game. When GM Ken Williams entered the locker room to discuss the start with Rauch, he found out that Rauch had left for his home in Louisville. In a post-game statement, an angry Williams announced, "If any team has any interest in Jon Rauch, they should contact me.'' Williams has stepped back somewhat from his statements and has mentioned that fellow Sox players will help determine the fate within the organization, and in the mean time Rauch will return to the rotation at Charlotte.

Having tried 4 different starting pitchers in the 5th starter slot who have combined to go 0-7 with an ERA of 9.72, Williams has begun to explore trade opportunities, even dangling top prospects such as Joe Borchard. Pitchers mentioned include Freddie Garcia, Kris Benson, and even some whispers that Randy Johnson may be available.