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White Sox’ Pedro Hernandez roughed up in major-league debut

White Sox starter Pedro Hernandez  looks home plate after giving up solo home run Boston's Adrian Gonzalez. | Michael

White Sox starter Pedro Hernandez , looks to home plate after giving up a solo home run to Boston's Adrian Gonzalez. | Michael Dwyer~AP

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Updated: August 20, 2012 11:57AM



BOSTON — Trade rumors are swirling, general managers are talking and scouts are under orders to run, not walk, as they deliver major-league player reports to the White Sox’ front office in
advance of the non-waiver trade deadline July 31.

GM Ken Williams will have to gauge whether his starting rotation, as constructed in its dinged-up form, has enough quality and depth to protect the 2½-game lead the Sox have after taking a 10-1 pounding Wednesday night at the hands of the Boston Red Sox.

Williams might want to add a veteran to a bullpen that’s bulging with rookies. Or, with left-hander John Danks on the disabled list indefinitely and right-hander Gavin Floyd with him for at least a short while, a starter might be the top priority.

‘‘You can always get ­better,’’ right-hander Jake Peavy said. ‘‘But at the same time, if no move is made, we believe we have enough to get to the playoffs if we play to our
potential.’’

Williams has a well-known history of pulling off midseason deals. He already has engineered what looks like a jackpot trade for third baseman Kevin Youkilis and wants to make one more. The latest rumor has the Sox eyeing San Diego Padres left-hander Clayton Richard, whom Williams traded in a package to get Peavy in 2009.

‘‘Kenny has always been super-aggressive,’’ Peavy said. ‘‘At the same time, he knows when to say when, so we’ll just stay out of it. If a new teammate comes in, we’ll welcome him; if not, we’ll get it done with what we have here.’’

What exactly the Sox have is the question of the hour. The answer depends on the health of starters Danks, Floyd and right-hander Philip Humber (just off the DL) and relievers Jesse Crain and Brian Bruney. Floyd (tendinitis in right elbow) might
return Monday, but there’s no guarantee. Crain (strained right shoulder) is hoping to come off the DL on Sunday. Bruney (left hip) tried throwing Wednesday and expressed frustration that he’s not getting better.

Left-hander Pedro Hernandez became the Sox’ ninth rookie pitcher — and third to start — after being called up from Class AAA Charlotte, and he took a beating Wednesday. He allowed two three-run home runs to Cody Ross and a solo shot to Adrian Gonzalez among his 12 hits allowed. He left trailing 8-1 in the fifth inning and was sent back to Charlotte after the game to make room for reliever Donnie Veal.

The move was planned, regardless of Hernandez’s performance.

‘‘You’re asking guys to come up here and be in a ­situation they’re not used to,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘You’d feel more comfortable if you had a bunch of veterans do the things they’re doing. We’re just not in that position.’’

As the news trickles out of the trainer’s room that Crain soon will follow Humber off the DL, there are signs of encouragement. But will that be enough? It would help if Danks was closer, but he might not return until ­September, if at all.

‘‘The biggest thing is we’re starting to get guys back,’’ Peavy said. ‘‘I wish the best for Johnny. I hope he can get back. I know he’s got a long ways to go as far as his throwing program and what it would take for getting him back to contribute here, but that would be like trading for a great guy to add to the mix for September.’’

Paul Konerko, who was playing in his 2,000th game for the Sox, drove in their lone run with a first-inning single against Felix Doubront.



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