Axelrod takes the mound vs. Blue Jays on CSN

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Axelrod takes the mound vs. Blue Jays on CSN

Monday, Sept 26, 2011
Posted: 10:29 a.m.

Associated Press

The Toronto Blue Jays will be without their manager and the majors' home run leader when they open a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

Toronto can finish with a winning record for the fifth time in six years with two wins this week, however, the Blue Jays (80-79) expect to be without Jose Bautista, who suffered a knee bruise in Sunday's 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay.

Bautista, who leads the majors with 43 homers and is hitting .305, was chasing a fly ball in the first inning when his knee made contact with a corner of the padded doorway. He fell to the ground and was down for several minutes, but stayed in before leaving in the sixth.

"We feel like we dodged a bullet," manager John Farrell said. "It could have been something much more severe."

Farrell will also miss Monday's game for personal reasons while Colby Rasmus, who was a late scratch with flulike symptoms Sunday, is uncertain.

The team could have Adam Lind back after he missed the last three games following the birth of his child.

Also playing out the schedule is Chicago (77-82), which lost two of three to Kansas City over the weekend and is assured of its third losing season in five years.

The disappointing season has cast doubt over manager Ozzie Guillen's future with the club. He has publicly asked for an extension of his contract, but the team has been silent.

"I'm not here for stats, I'm here to win divisions," Guillen said. "As soon as they put the 'X' next to me, I'm done. That was my goal and I couldn't capture my goal."

Chicago had six hits in Sunday's 2-1 loss, but stranded seven. Adam Dunn went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, dropping his average to .161 with 172 strikeouts.

Dunn needs 13 plate appearances in the final three games to finish with the worst qualifying batting average in big league history, surpassing Rob Deer's .179 mark in 1991. Dunn went 1 for 14 with eight strikeouts in a series against Toronto in May.

The Blue Jays won the final three games of that four-game set, and have won 21 of 27 against the White Sox overall.

Toronto sends Dustin McGowan (0-1, 6.35 ERA) to the mound for his fourth start of the season.

McGowan gave up two runs and struck out eight in five innings of a 7-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.

"It was good," said McGowan, who is coming back from two shoulder surgeries. "It seems to get better every time. Just pounded the zone. Avoided the walk which kind of killed me in other starts."

The right-hander is 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA against the White Sox, last facing them in 2008.

Chicago will counter with Dylan Axelrod (0-0, 4.26), who is making his third major league start and fourth appearance.

Axelrod allowed four runs, four walks and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 5-4 win at Cleveland on Tuesday.

He limited Detroit to two runs and six hits over six innings on Sept. 14 in his only start at U.S. Cellular Field.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Hawk rips Lackey, Swarzak traded, Coop misses Q

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Hawk rips Lackey, Swarzak traded, Coop misses Q

After a wild day at Wrigley Field against the Cubs, Chuck Garfien and Dan Hayes discuss John Lackey hitting four White Sox batters and also play Hawk Harrelson's epic on-air rant directed at the Cubs pitcher.

"Jeff the Sox Fan" appears on the podcast and suggests what he thinks Jose Abreu should have done to Lackey when he was hit for a second time.

While they taped the podcast, Anthony Swarzak was traded to the Brewers. What kind of return did the White Sox get? Garfien also interviews White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper about losing Quintana to the Cubs, why he can't watch Quintana and Chris Sale pitch in different uniform, when some minor leaguers like Reynaldo Lopez will be called up and more.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

How White Sox aggressive deadline strategy paid off in Anthony Swarzak trade

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AP

How White Sox aggressive deadline strategy paid off in Anthony Swarzak trade

The White Sox jumped out ahead of a crowded reliever market once again and traded Anthony Swarzak to the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

The White Sox acquired 25-year-old outfielder Ryan Cordell from the Brewers in exchange for the veteran reliever, a baseball source confirmed. The No. 17 prospect in the Brewers farm system, Cordell was hitting .284/.349/.506 with 10 home runs and 45 RBIs in 292 plate appearances at Triple-A Colorado Springs this season.

A nonroster invitee to big league camp this spring, Swarzak was 4-3 with a 2.23 ERA, one save and 52 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings this season. He’s the third reliever the White Sox have traded since the second half began as they also dealt David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to the New York Yankees with Todd Frazier on July 18.

TA free agent after the season, Swarzak has fared extremely well in high-leverage situations, stranding 26 of the 35 runners he had inherited. He pitched in two high-leverage spots in the team’s previous two games, earning his first career save Monday. Swarzak, whose 9.68 strikeouts per nine is a career high, also earned a hold on Sunday in Kansas City.

“I’ve been waiting for that opportunity for a long time,” Swarzak said of Monday’s save. “It’s nice that I went in there and got it done. You think about that moment for years and then it finally happens. You just are trying to take a step back and reflect on what just happened, and I’ll be able to come in tomorrow and be ready to go.”

Two American League scouts said Monday that Swarzak still had good trade value even though he’s viewed as a rental. While he wouldn’t likely net the White Sox a top-150 prospect, they could wrangle a “good” minor-leaguer in a deal. One element that could have potentially derailed the White Sox was an abundance of strong relief options in the market, perhaps as many as 20 pitchers.

[MORE: Carlos Rodon frustrated again after a weird start

After the White Sox traded Robertson and Kahnle, general manager Rick Hahn indicated they moved the pair early in anticipation of a competitive marketplace when they acquired Blake Rutherford and others from the New York Yankees. The Baltimore Orioles are a team that could have wreaked havoc on the relief market if they decide to sell -- something one AL source said they’ve gone back and forth on every day -- because they could flood it with Zach Britton and others.

The move is the third made by the White Sox in a span of two weeks, including the trade of Jose Quintana to the Cubs on July 13. The White Sox still have several veterans on the roster who could draw trade interest, including starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez.

“We are still open for business,” Hahn said last week.

Today’s Knuckleball’s Jon Heyman first reported the deal that sent Swarzak to the Brewers. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal initially reported the teams’ were discussing a trade for Swarzak.