Axelrod takes the mound vs. Blue Jays on CSN

538001.jpg

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.

Chris Sale: Trade from White Sox 'bittersweet,' ready to move on with Red Sox

Chris Sale: Trade from White Sox 'bittersweet,' ready to move on with Red Sox

There’s no question he’s excited about the chance to pitch for a perennial playoff team in front of Fenway Park crowds deep into October.

But Chris Sale described the trade that sent him from the White Sox to the Boston Red Sox as bittersweet on Wednesday morning. On his way out of town, Sale, who was traded Tuesday for four minor leaguers, including two elite prospects, credited the White Sox for their support and belief in him from the outset of his career. But while he wishes he could have won a title on the South Side, Sale also said he’s ready to move on.

“It’s exciting for all the reasons I already said,” Sale said. “It’s tough. You build a relationship with these guys and they are like family. Everybody over there is being in your family. You are around these guys probably even more during the year than you are around your family. It’s tough. But knowing what lies ahead makes it a little bit easier for that transition.

“It didn’t work out. I really wish it did. I have nothing but really good things to take from that and I appreciate my time with the White Sox. But I’m looking forward to the next chapter.”

After several years of hearing trade speculation, the five-time All-Star said he started to sense the possibility was real a few weeks ago after a conversation with his agent. The chatter began to increase with the start of the Winter Meetings this week and Sale said he was inundated with texts from friends and family in anticipation of where he could be headed. When he learned it was the Red Sox, Sale said was ecstatic to learn he’d be playing for one of the “greatest baseball franchises ever.”

“It’s kind of like being monkey in the middle, you’re just glad when you finally get the ball,” Sale said. “It’s hectic. There’s a lot of speculation. There’s story after story and obviously getting flood with text messages from family and friends. Just to have the whole process out the way and to get back to normalcy will be nice.”

[Complete coverage of the White Sox-Red Sox Chris Sale blockbuster trade]

Many of those messages came from former White Sox teammates. Sale said he and his wife, who is soon due with their second child, spent much of Tuesday looking at old pictures and nostalgia from his White Sox tenure. Though he’s disappointed by the lack of team success with the White Sox, Sale said the team’s support was a critical element to his success.

The White Sox drafted Sale with the 13th overall pick in 2010 and he reached the majors later that season. Though he spent the first two seasons in the bullpen, the team’s plan all along was to make Sale a starting pitcher, something others weren’t certain he could handle. Sale has been an All-Star and also finished in the top six in the Cy Young Award vote in each of the five seasons since he became a starter.

“It didn’t work out the way we wanted it to in Chicago, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot of great moments,” Sale said. “I had a very good conversation with Rick (Hahn) yesterday.

“I was in a situation in 2010, how many teams would have done what they did? It’s hard to say now, but probably not very many. They drafted me in the first round when people had questions. They brought me up to the big leagues really fast and people probably had questions. They threw in the rotation and people clearly had questions.

“They were really, they had my back a lot and they gave me opportunities that not a lot of other people would have given me. I’m very thankful for that.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Breaking down the Chris Sale trade

chris-sale-trade-1206.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Breaking down the Chris Sale trade

On the latest episode of the White Sox Talk Podcast, Chuck Garfien and Dan Hayes break down the White Sox trade of Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox.

Plus, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe provides some insight on what exactly the White Sox got in return for their former ace.

And Rick Hahn talks about just how difficult it was to pull the trigger and trade elite, homegrown talent.

Listen to the latest episode below: