The Chicago White Sox’s rotation has received some bumps and bruises recently, leaving many wondering what will happen now after the latest injury. First off, John Danks still hasn’t returned yet from his trip to the DL, but now it looks like Phil Humber will be joining him too. Danks took a big setback during a rehab start, and looks like he’ll miss another three weeks at least. Luckily, rookie Jose Quintana has been absolutely stellar in Danks’ absence.
Over seven games, and in just five starts, Quintana has compiled an impressive stat line, going 2-1 with a 1.53 ERA. He’s also held batters to an impressive .236 batting average. Quintana simply came out of nowhere and has been wowing the Sox’s top brass and opponents alike. Earlier this season when everyone talked about the White Sox and their starting pitching depth, names that would come up rarely, if ever, included Quintana. But as he continued to dazzle in the minors, it was a no-brainer for general manager Kenny Williams to call him up.
But now with Humber out for the next couple weeks, one of those names that was discussed early in the season has been promoted to the big league roster again, that person being Dylan Axelrod. Axelrod was up earlier in the year, and made one start on May 6th.
In that game he pitched 4 1/3 innings giving up two runs. Now while that doesn’t seem like much, expect Robin Ventura to trust the kid a bit more during this extended call up. Axelrod is expected to be a part of this White Sox rotation come 2013, or maybe even 2014. The jury is still out on Humber despite his perfect game. One only needs to look at his 8.22 ERA for the month of June to make you think twice about him. Gavin Floyd can be just as unpredictable. Axelrod will have a spot on this rotation if he keeps doing what he’s doing, while turning more heads over his next two starts.
Thankfully, through all the roster shuffling, the rotation has remained strong. Jake Peavy has been showing his old form over his last few starts, and the only thing that could be better would be more run support from his teammates. Chris Sale continues his dominance as well, and one has to think Williams is kicking himself for even thinking for a moment that it was the right decision to move Sale into the bullpen for any period of time at all.
It’s the pitching that has really kept the Sox in contention as the bats have cooled down over the last two weeks. A lot of responsibility hangs on Floyd and Axelrod as well. This time of the season is more critical than you would think. Floyd getting his numbers back to where they were the first month of the season will help plenty. But we all saw for a moment how powerful this team can be when everyone is clicking on all cylinders. If the rotation can keep up this pace as new additions are made to it, and then if that hitting catches back up again, Chicago could certainly be seeing some postseason baseball.
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