Dylan Axelrod is pulling a Jake Peavy, albeit at Triple-A. Both pitchers have had fantastic starts to the 2012 season, with Peavy sporting a 1.88 ERA and 6.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio in four outings. Axelrod, in four starts with Charlotte, has a 1.08 ERA and 6.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
From Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein:
"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...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."
It's only four starts, but they're encouraging for Axelrod's current status as the guy that'll get called up if a starter goes on the disabled list. He'd probably slide into the rotation, as Zach Stewart wouldn't have enough time to get stretched out as a starter.
Axelrod and Peavy are intertwined, as no matter how healthy Peavy says he is, his recent history means he's an injury risk. There's no doubt Peavy can pitch -- just ask the Rangers, Tigers, Orioles and A's -- but, his ability to stay healthy will be questioned all season, especially after a nine-inning outing.
That's why Axelrod's success at Triple-A is encouraging. If something does happy to Peavy, or John Danks runs into a blister, or Philip Humber gets hit with a line drive, or Chris Sale needs a start or two skipped, or Gavin Floyd drinks too much brain and nerve tonic, Axelrod has to be ready.
And as things stand, Axelrod certainly looks ready.