Why did Quintana get the call over Axelrod?


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.

Is it time for the White Sox to call up Reynaldo Lopez?


Is it time for the White Sox to call up Reynaldo Lopez?

With Yoan Moncada now with the White Sox and making an early impact, White Sox fans may be wondering which highly-touted prospect is next to join the big league roster.

Reynaldo Lopez is certainly making a strong case for himself in Triple-A Charlotte. Lopez, one of the pitchers the Sox received from the Washington Nationals in the Adam Eaton trade, gave up one run in six innings for the Knights on Friday night. That was the latest in a string of five strong starts for the 23-year-old.

In Friday's 2-1 loss against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, Lopez struck out six and allowed just two hits and one walk. That's five straight starts for Lopez in which he has allowed two or fewer runs while pitching six or more innings.

Here's his last five starts:

June 29 vs. Columbus: 6 2/3 innings, 1 run, 11 strikeouts, 1 walk, 6 hits

July 4 at Durham: 6 innings, 1 run, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 5 hits

July 9 at Louisville: 6 innings, 2 runs, 4 strikeouts, 1 walk, 7 hits

July 16 vs. Gwinnett: 7 innings, 1 run, 12 strikeouts, 2 walks, 2 hist

Tonight at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre: 6 innings, 1 run, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 2 hits

Loepz has a 3.65 ERA on the season with 107 strikeouts in 106 innings against 40 walks and 90 hits. In a short stint in the majors last season, Lopez had a 4.91 ERA in 44 innings in six starts and five relief appearances for the Nationals.

Does Guaranteed Rate Field await the Dominican right-hander?

White Sox minor league trade could signal more big league moves to come

White Sox minor league trade could signal more big league moves to come

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- What may appear at face value to be a deal for pitching depth could be a precursor of more White Sox trades to come.

The White Sox acquired Triple-A relief pitchers Mark Lowe and Jean Machi from the Tacoma Rainiers (Seattle Mariners) on Friday night. While the move merely could be to add bullpen arms to a system short on them after trades and injuries have depleted their depth, the White Sox could also be preparing themselves for the next wave of moves. David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle may be gone.

But the White Sox still possess a strong rental reliever in veteran Anthony Swarzak and left-hander Dan Jennings could also draw interest even though his 4.05 ERA is the highest he’d had since coming to the White Sox.

“We are still open for business,” general manager Rick Hahn said on Tuesday night. “We’re starting to get a little younger in that clubhouse. A few guys are starting to get opportunities over the next few weeks and months. It will be interesting to see. If we don’t do anything over the next couple weeks we’ll have a better assessment of where we are heading into the off-season, perhaps set some things up for them.”

A free agent in the offseason, Swarzak has a 2.45 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 44 innings this season. Jennings has a career 2.94 ERA in 278 games.

Lowe has spent the entire season at Tacoma. He has a 4.22 ERA in 382 career games in the majors. Machi has a 3.38 ERA in 194 games in the bigs and has pitched for San Francisco, Boston and Seattle. He had a 3.44 ERA in 29 games at Tacoma.

The White Sox intend to have Tyler Clippard work as their closer after the departures of Robertson and Kahnle, manager Rick Renteria said.

Hahn has already been extremely busy this month, making a pair of deals that netted seven prospects and Clippard. He dealt Jose Quintana to the Cubs on July 13 for four prospects and traded Robertson, Kahnle and Todd Frazier to the Yankees on Tuesday.