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Open Thread - Game 16: White Sox (7-7) at Tigers (9-6), 7:05 p.m. EST

John Danks (0-2, 3.97) vs. Chad Durbin (0-1, 12.46)

Detroit's first big divisional test of the year (no offense to the Royals) begins with a match-up of fifth starters. Last season, the White Sox went 12-7 against the Tigers, as the Motor City kitties were developing into big cats.

From approximately 240 miles away, I'm not sure why Danks is even on the White Sox roster. I realize that he won the fifth starter's job in Spring Training, and I know he's a talented prospect. What I mean is that I don't understand why Kenny Williams traded Brandon McCarthy for Danks and Nick Masset in the off-season. Last season, it seemed McCarthy was the White Sox ace of the future, and they just needed a spot to open up for him. After trading Freddy Garcia to the Phillies, everything looked set. But then McCarthy gets shipped off to Texas?

Actually, Danks has shown in his two starts that he was probably worth making such a move. Unfortunately for him, the White Sox offense scored only one total run in those two games, so he doesn't have a win to show for that effort. (In the home team's clubhouse, Jeremy Bonderman is saying, "I feel for you, brother.")

For Detroit, the Chad Durbin experiment continues for at least one more start. However, you have to think he's on notice. A decent start will probably keep him in the rotation for now. But if Durbin gives up bushels of hits and runs, as he did in his first two starts, somebody else (Jason Grilli? Wil "The Vulture" Ledezma?) will gladly take that fifth spot.

Short Hops:

▪▪ Jose Mesa was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 17, due to a pulled right groin.

▪▪ Prior to the first pitch, Justin Verlander will receive the Players' Choice Award for American League Outstanding Rookie.

▪▪ Also before the game, the first 30,000 fans through the gates will receive replica American League Championship rings.

I knew I should've made plans to go. I look great when flashing the bling. Brings out my teeth.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that Aquilino Lopez was called up from Toledo to replace Mesa on the 25-man roster. So far this season, he's notched four saves in seven games (6.1 innings), averaging a strikeout per inning. His last appearance in the majors was in 2005.