Everyone that knows the situation or certain everyone that likes the Chicago White Sox has been cheering and hoping for a healthy return this season for starting pitcher John Danks. Things have looked good and he is pain free but it looks like the return will have to wait. Manager Robin Ventura suggested that Danks will probably start the season on the disabled list and with few minors starts. As disappointing as this setback is, spot starter and reliever Dylan Axelrod plans to help bridge the gap from now until Danks return.
Axelrod isn’t a stranger to starting. Though most of his career in the majors and minor leagues has included relief appearances, he has started several times. So, what are the Sox getting in return for the not completely healthy Danks? Axelrod is solid. His minor league numbers were great including a career 2.81 ERA and 1.143 WHIP. Major league numbers have faltered a little bit but he is as good of a quick replacement as the White Sox could hope for. He’ll give them a chance to win.
As far as Danks goes, he is still pain free. The issue appears to be more that he doesn’t have the normal full arsenal of pitches at full strength. Considering he came off of arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder just this past August, it’s not a catastrophic surprise that he isn’t quite ready. While Danks is surely willing to go on as he is and hopes to be ready for the season, the White Sox are doing the right thing in planning for him to start slower and get fully healthy before he joins the day to day roster. Axelrod will be just fine as a replacement until then.