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.