As early as spring training John Danks was pumped about making 2013 his comeback and breakout season for the Chicago White Sox. Like most things planned for the White Sox this season, it did not turn out that way. Whatever the near future as far as finishing the 2013 season holds for Danks, he should begin to think about what he can do to improve his performance for the coming 2014 season. I have a feeling it needs to be better than this season was for the White Sox to remain patient with him.
Even the worst player on the team, whomever that is to the management involved, deserves a mulligan for this season. Who can really blame the lack of winning play on any one player? Danks is no exception to that rule as his 4 – 14 win-loss record should just be ignored completely. What cannot be ignored however is his 4.75 ERA and 1.287 WHIP. Those are his doing and part of the reason his season has been very inconsistent.
As far as consistency problems go, and how they affect the ERA, we can look at more specific stats to find out the real problem. Danks has a hits per 9 innings ratio of 9.8 for 2013. Worse than that is the 1.8 home runs per 9 innings ratio. I don’t care how good a pitcher’s stuff can be, if they give up more than a hit per inning on average and almost 2 jacks each game, they aren’t going to be an effective pitcher.
That is Danks’ 2013 season in a nutshell. But the White Sox aren’t paying him for nothing. He has potential and good stuff. His good games have been very good while he has also had very bad games. That is the key to it all. He must be more consistent if he plans to keep a solid spot on this team or any team past the 2014 season. No one is going to be overtly pleased with a starting pitcher holding a 5 ERA. He has the potential to be much better so here’s hoping he improves with a normally healthy off-season and spring training heading into 2014.