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April 23, 2012

Kevin Goldstein’s comments on Dylan Axelrod

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 23, 2012 8:30 pm
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Kevin Goldstein:

Dylan Axelrod, RHP, White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte)

The fact that Axelrod even reached the big leagues is quite an achievement. A 30th-round pick in 2007 by the Padres, Axelrod lasted a year and a half before landing in Indy ball, but all he did was get better. His primary skill is the ability to throw strikes. He pounds the strike zone with an 88-91 mph fastball, has a decent slider, and a somewhat-less-than-decent curve. He has no changeup, but he hits his spots and keeps hitters off balance; while that’s the kind of pitcher who should hit a wall, he just hasn’t yet. With 7 2/3 shutout innings on Sunday, he now has a 1.08 ERA in four starts for the Knights to go with 26 strikeouts and just four walks. He’s already a great scouting find for the White Sox, and has to upgrade that status by becoming a usable arm as a No. 5 starter or middle reliever, which exceeds any expectation ever put on him.

Axelrod struck out 6 and walked 1 on Sunday:

Charlotte Knights
Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Dylan Axelrod (W, 2-1) 7.2 4 0 0 1 6 0 1.08
Deunte Heath (H, 1) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.08
Brian Bruney (S, 4) 1.0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1.80

WP: Axelrod 2.
Pitches-strikes: Axelrod 97-67, Heath 1-1, Bruney 17-10.
Groundouts-flyouts: Axelrod 10-5, Heath 0-0, Bruney 1-1.
Batters faced: Axelrod 27, Heath 1, Bruney 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Heath 2-0.

No more Mr. Screwball?

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 23, 2012 1:05 am
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Daryl Van Schouwen:

Video coordinator Bryan Johnson dug into the archives for rookie closer Hector Santiago to find video of former left-handed screwball pitchers Fernando Valenzuela, Tug McGraw and Willie Hernandez.

Santiago, who got his fourth save in five chances, threw only one screwball as he looks to rediscover the pitch he said was better for him last season. He attributes that, in part, to higher seams on minor-league baseballs, allowing for a better grip and more spin, but he wants to do everything in his power to make it an important part of his arsenal. Santiago watched the tapes to see how the ball came out of the aforementioned trio’s hands.

“I’m kind of a fastball guy now,’’ Santiago said. “Usually I’m a changeup guy trying to sneak a fastball in, but right now I’m just going after guys.’’

BTW, here’s a link to the Pitch F/X numbers for Santiago’s outing.

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