Missing three-fifths of the starting rotation by time May rolled around isn't exactly what White Sox general manager Rick Hahn had in mind for his ballclub.
You can bet he always has a Plan B lined up in case of injury -- but it's on to Plan C, D and E at this point with Chris Sale and Felipe Paulino on the shelf and Erik Johnson having been demoted to Triple-A because of ineffectiveness.
The White Sox GM has been forced to look for pitching help from a number of unlikely sources. One of those sources, Hector Noesi, will make his second start of the season Tuesday night when the Cubs and White Sox square off in the second of two games at Wrigley Field before the series shifts to the south side.
"It's not exactly how we drew it up, having 60 percent of the rotation from Opening Day no longer part of the equation right now. … Noesi is probably the one we are putting the most on in trying to transition him into a starter in-season, which he's been there before, so it's not completely unrealistic, but also a little tough to do on the fly," Hahn said before Monday's 3-1 win.
Noesi, who last started in 2012, looked good early on in his first start of 2014. He needed just 27 pitches to get through three scoreless innings against the Tigers, retiring nine in a row at one point, before tiring in the fourth. Detroit's hitters adjusted the second time through the order and scored four runs in the frame off Noesi, who was pulled after 3 2/3 innings.
He'll square off with one-time White Sox hurler Edwin Jackson, who will look to bounce back from a mediocre performance in his last start. Jackson got the win Wednesday in Cincinnati despite allowing four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo helped Jackson escape with the win with a two-run home run and three runs scored. Some have questioned Rizzo's long-term viability at first for the Cubs, but he received a vote of confidence from a White Sox veteran who knows a thing or two about playing first and hitting.
"Rizzo's a good player, great on defense," said longtime first baseman Paul Konerko. "You know he's a stud."
White Sox: Ventura hopes to get Konerko in at Wrigley
Konerko hates the idea of his final season feeling like a fairwell tour, but even he couldn't deny Tuesday's game will be his final at Wrigley Field, a place he said he's always enjoyed.
Part of it is the history behind Wrigley that had Konerko recalling the days when he could enjoy the Wrigleyville bars after the game without anyone knowing who he was. The other part is that Konerko is a career .311 hitter with seven homers and 26 RBIs in 34 career games on the North Side.
"When the wind's blowing out here, I'd dress in the street to play here," he said.
Konerko maintained that 95 percent of his focus remains on trying to impact the game in a significant way, and that probably five percent is devoted to "taking some stuff in" at the Friendly Confines for the final time.
"You try and find a spot that makes sense to get him in there and do it," Ventura said. "You would love to, any time he's in a place for the last time. I don't see us making another run here at any point this season, so you would like to get him in there. He hits pretty good here, so it would also be nice if he would hit a homer."
Konerko pinch-hit in the 12th inning of the 3-1 win Monday. He was hit by a pitch and replaced at first by pitcher Andre Rienzo.
Cubs: Pink out planned for Tuesday's game
Fans attending Tuesday's game are encouraged to wear pink. Cubs Charities will team up with Advocate Health Care to "Pink Out" the Budweiser Bleachers. This is the Cubs' last home game before Mother's Day, and each fan siting in the bleachers will receive a Cubs Charities "Save 2nd Base" shirt to promote breast cancer awareness and celebrate moms and women everywhere who are cancer survivors. T-shirts will be distributed at the gates by Cubs wives.
The Cubs Store, located across Wrigley Field at the corner of Clark and Addison Streets, will display a "Pink Out" section with pink Cubs merchandise and a 10 percent discount on engraved pink bats.
All fans in attendance are encouraged to participate in the Cubs Charities 50/50 raffle because proceeds will benefit mammograms for under-insured and uninsured women through Advocate Charitable Foundation.
• Jose Quintana took another no-decision in Monday night's game despite seven innings of one-run ball. It marked his 31st no-decision since the start of 2012, extending his lead in that category. Jeff Samardzija tossed nine innings of one-run ball but remained winless (0-3) in seven starts despite a 1.62 ERA.
• Alexei Ramirez recorded his 1,000th career hit with a 12th-inning single Monday night.
• Jose Abreu notched his American League-leading 35th RBI with a first-inning sac fly to right. He trails Giancarlo Stanton by two RBIs for the Major League lead.
• Rizzo extended his hitting streak to five games on Monday and is hitting .386 in 17 home games.
• Rizzo committed an error in the fourth inning of Monday's game to snap his 56-game errorless streak at first base dating back to Sept. 1, 2013. It was the longest such streak for a Cubs first baseman since Derek Lee went 59 straight games without committing an error from April 7-June 13, 2010.
• Samardzija broke up Quintana's no-hitter with a double to lead off the sixth inning. He's the first Cubs pitcher since 1974 to break up an opponent's no-hit bid in the sixth inning or later, per STATS Inc.
Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.