Why did Quintana get the call over Axelrod?

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Why did Quintana get the call over Axelrod?

Dylan Axelrod has been sensational with Triple-A Charlotte. In 38 innings, he has an 0.95 ERA with nine walks, 40 strikeouts and only one home run allowed. He has experience starting at the major-league level, and he's done it with some success (3.08 ERA in 26 13 innings).

So why didn't he get called up when John Danks was placed on the disabled list?

It wasn't a matter of being ready -- Axelrod pitched Thursday night and easily could've been pushed back a day to accommodate his move to the majors.

The reason, though, would probably be that Axelrod doesn't throw left-handed. First and foremost, the Sox needed someone to take Danks' start against first-place Cleveland on Friday. The Indians are a left-handed heavy lineup, and Jose Quintana throws left-handed. He also held Cleveland scoreless in his only major-league outing, which spanned 5 23 innings in relief of Philip Humber.

Cleveland's left-handed batters own a .190.289.319 slash line against lefties in 2012, and overall as a team the Indians have a .662 OPS against southpaws. Against righties, the Indians own a .749 OPS, so going with Quintana could simply be a case of the Sox hedging their bets.

Quintana may have a tougher time in his second start, which would come against Tampa Bay, a team that has more success against lefties (.749 OPS) than righties (.736 OPS). But with this weekend's series against being the last crack the Sox get at Cleveland until the penultimate week of the season, beating the Tribe might take on some added importance.

And there also could be a chance the Sox option Quintana back to Triple-A (he was called up to Charlotte from Birmingham hours before being brought up to the majors) and call up Axelrod to start against Tampa Bay on the 30th.

But for now, Axelrod will stay with Charlotte.

Live on CSN: White Sox square off against Padres

Live on CSN: White Sox square off against Padres

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The White Sox are back in action in spring training as they square off against the San Diego Padres on CSN.

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White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Quintana was pleased with his final warmup before Opening Day.

The White Sox Opening Day starter threw 48 pitches (30 strikes) against a Milwaukee Brewers minor league team at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday. Quintana allowed two hits, two runs (one earned), walked one and struck out three in three-plus innings. He next pitches at home on Monday against the Detroit Tigers.

"I finished my preparation on a high note," Quintana said. "I'm heading to the season with good energy and satisfied with all the worked and effort that I put in my preparation.

"I'm absolutely ready for the season to start."

A tweet from USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Tuesday suggested Quintana will start the season as a member of the White Sox despite myriad rumors. Nightengale noted that the Houston Astros refuse budge on what they're willing to pay for the 2016 All-Star. The White Sox have also held firm on their asking price and haven't been motivated by any of the offers they've received to move Quintana.

The team reduced the number of players still in camp to 34 on Tuesday with the trade of Peter Bourjos and by cutting nonroster invitees Cory Luebke and Matt Purke. Luebke, who has been sidelined for six days after he tweaked his hamstring, finished the spring with a 0.96 ERA in 9 1/3 innings. He can opt out of his minor-league deal in May. Purke struck out eight in eight innings and finished with a 2.25 ERA. 

Both had been in the mix for one of two open bullpen spots.

Fellow reliever Jake Petricka looked much calmer on Tuesday than he did after taking a comebacker off his hand Monday. X-rays were negative and Petricka played catch. He hopes to pitch as scheduled this weekend in Milwaukee. 

"This is just one of those you do everything you can do to stay healthy, and its part of the game you can't control," Petricka said. "You never want that to happen, especially this late in camp. "But we dodged a bullet and we're good to go."

The White Sox also had a close call with second baseman Tyler Saladino, who was hit by a pitch in the left wrist in minor league action on Monday. Saladino received treatment and could return to action on Wednesday.

"He's doing good, we're just holding him back today for my well being," Renteria said.

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Renteria said reliever Juan Minaya is improving but still likely to start the season on the DL. Minaya suffered an abdominal tear in mid-March. 

"He has been improving solidly and responding to the treatments," Renteria said.

Yolmer Sanchez went 2-for-2 with an RBI and scored a run in a 7-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Surprise, Ariz. 

Michael Ynoa allowed an unearned run and a hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. 

Zack Burdi struck out three in a scoreless inning.