CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox have a big decision to make when starting pitcher John Danks comes off the disabled list in the near future. One of the rotation pitchers will have to stand down. Monday night's starter, Dylan Axelrod, furthered his case for staying in the mix with six solid innings against the Boston Red Sox. The White Sox defeated Red Sox ace left-hander Jon Lester, marking Axelrod’s second win and Lester’s first loss of 2013.
Axelrod was pitching in the Independent League with the Windy City Thunderbolts in 2009 before getting a chance to pitch in the Sox organization. "It is weird looking back four years ago,” Axelrod said. “I guess I was a late bloomer. I feel like I belong here and I am really happy to be a part of this team.”
Axelrod has kept the White Sox in all but one of his starts, going six or more innings in six of his nine starts. He has been questioned about his credentials on more than one occasion. At this point, the naysayers are getting on his nerves.
"Yeah, a little bit," he said with a sheepish smile after Chicago's 6-4 win over Boston. "I feel I have done all that has been asked of me and I have had a lot of quality starts. I feel I belong at this level. If that answers the question, that’s it."
Axelrod and Hector Santiago are the fourth and fifth starters. White Sox manager Robin Ventura, pitching coach Don Cooper and the front office will have to decide who will be the odd man out when Danks returns from his rehab stint soon.
"What he has done last year and this year, people should put that behind him," Ventura said. “If people want to think that way, go ahead because he will still go out and beat people.”
A meeting to determine when Danks will be ready will take place on Tuesday.