April 27, 2012
At this time last year, White Sox CF Jared Mitchell found himself completely over his head. Coming back from a serious ankle injury that had sidelined him for the entire 2010 season, he was promoted to high Class A Winston-Salem where he was most known for striking out (183 whiffs in 477 at-bats). A year later, Mitchell, 23, has somehow managed to catch up to an even more advanced league. His walks are up, his strikeouts are down and Mitchell is now hitting the ball with authority—.478/.586/.739 this week and now .347/.473/.573 for the season
The White Sox placed right-hander Jesse Crain on the disabled list Friday, retroactive to April 21, with a strained left oblique. Righty Dylan Axelrod was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to take his place in the bullpen.
Crain, who hasn’t pitched since April 20, said he was going to refrain from activity until Tuesday, when the White Sox begin a three-game series with the Indians. He said he injured his oblique doing twists in the weight room.
The 30-year-old right-hander said he was hopeful he’d be able to return from the DL on May 5, the first day he’s eligible. …
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Axelrod will serve as the team’s long reliever. Right-handers Nate Jones and Zach Stewart will move up in the bullpen to fill Crane’s late-inning role.
This is Axelord’s second stint with the White Sox, after appearing in four games for Chicago last September. The 26-year-old went 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA in those outings (three starts) and Ventura said he’s comfortable handing the ball to Axelrod.
“He’s been up here, so it’s not like we’re bringing somebody up that can’t pitch here,” Ventura said. “We have confidence in Axe and we’ll make due until Jesse’s ready.”
Axelrod was impressive in four Triple-A starts, going 2-1 with a 1.08 ERA in 25 innings. He said a big part of his success has come from incorporating his changeup more often.
“It’s been really effective for me. It’s added another dimension, makes my fastball a little bit better,” Axelrod said. “My first start, I threw about four changeups and they got a call that said work on it, so I’ve been trying to throw about 15 a game after that and it’s been paying off.”
As J.J. says, the player with the most to gain here is Nate Jones.
Gordon Beckham has not lived up to expectations. After being selected eighth overall by the Chicago White Sox in 2008, Beckham was expected to be one of the team’s future stars. And after a strong rookie season, it looked like Beckham might achieve that goal. Since then, however, Beckham was struggled mightily. For the 25-year-old, 2012 is a make-or-break year. The early signs do not look encouraging. …
Other White Sox links:
- J.J. checks on Dylan Axelrod, and looks on Paul Konerko’s chances of hitting 500 Home Runs.
- James looks at the Sox infield, and Robin Ventura bunt binge at Wednesday’s game.
- SeedlingsToStars’n Robbie Knopf looks at Jacob Petricka’s AFL Pitch F/X numbers.
- MLBTR looks at the chances Jake Peavy gets traded this summer.
- FutureSox looks at Rangel Ravelo.