There was no guarantee Dylan Axelrod would be a member of the Chicago White Sox starting rotation in 2013, but he will get the opportunity to prove himself in the regular season.
Axelrod entered camp as the projected No. 5 starter, but that was only because the White Sox were not sure how soon John Danks would be able to be effective on the mound again as he’s rehabbing from shoulder surgery. Danks will most likely have a chance to earn his job back once his velocity returns, which might not be until after a month into the season.
This means Axelrod has a great opportunity to show Chicago that he can handle the rotation role. If he pitches lights out and gives the White Sox a chance to win every game he is in, there should be no reason why the organization will have to turn back to Danks. Axelrod can have a permanent spot in the rotation as long as he proves he is starter material.
“I feel comfortable having a routine and having that assurance definitely helps,” Axelrod told WhiteSox.com. “Knowing that I’m going to start every fifth day or what have you. Not going back and forth between the starting rotation and bullpen, I think will benefit me with my routine.”
The right-hander went 2-1 with a 3.21 earned run average, 12 strikeouts in 14 innings pitched over five games (two starts). In his two starts, he struck out five batters and allowed only one earned run in six innings.
Considering Danks imploded during Spring Training with a 16.36 ERA in four starts, Axelrod should not feel anyone breathing down his neck. As long as he pitches at a high level, Chicago should not feel the need to look at Danks to replace the 27-year old.