The White Sox adjusted their rotation in the wake of Thursday night's rainout against Minnesota so left-handed ace Mark Buehrle will get seven days' rest before his next start and could have two straight favorable matchups.
Buehrle's next start was moved from Sunday to Monday, partly so he can face the predominantly left-handed hitting lineups of Oakland at home and then Tampa Bay on the road April 19.
Since the start of spring training, the Sox have been extra careful about not taxing Buehrle's left arm though they insist he is healthy.
"Nothing is wrong with Buehrle," pitching coach Don Cooper said Thursday in a conference call. "Mark Buehrle is fine with a couple of extra days [of rest]. He's looking to get his 33 starts and 200 innings. After that, he's on every five days. There is no extra time. Buehrle is pitching on [April] 14, 19, 24 and 29. There's a handful, right there. That tells you we're giving him a couple of extra days right now, and it's not going to affect how many times he goes out there and how many innings he's going to get."
Buehrle, who has pitched the second most innings in baseball since 2001 (1,5222/3), rebounded from a disastrous Opening Day start to pitch seven innings of two-run ball Sunday in a victory at American League Central rival Detroit.
Buehrle was pulled after 85 pitches with a 9-2 lead and Mike MacDougal pitched the final two innings.
Thursday's rainout was rescheduled for June 9 at 1:05 p.m.
The postponement also pushed back Jose Contreras' start to Friday in the series opener against Detroit at U.S. Cellular Field.
Gavin Floyd will pitch Saturday, with Javier Vazquez moving up one day to pitch in the series finale Sunday.
"This is the best way [for] what's best for the team, what's best for the individual and a little something to do with matchups," Cooper said.
The realignment also means Buehrle and fellow left-hander John Danks will pitch in consecutive games on April 14-15 and April 19-20. The Sox were trying to avoid that as they split the two when setting the rotation in spring training.
But Cooper said the alignment is temporary and that having Buehrle and Danks pitch on consecutive days against Oakland and Tampa Bay might give them more favorable matchups against those teams because of their stacks of left-handed hitters.
Cooper added the two pitchers will be separated in the rotation after April 20 because of a day off.
The changes will keep all the starters as close to their normal turns as possible, Cooper said.
Vazquez and Danks will have the fewest days' rest before their next start with five apiece.
But if wet weather persists, Cooper might have to draw up another pitching schedule. He spent a portion of Wednesday setting the rotation through May 5.
"Whenever you do that, it's inevitable it rains, and you rip it up," Cooper said.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun