GLENDALE, Ariz. -- He might be the likely candidate to replace John Danks in the rotation, but Dylan Axelrod said he won’t take it for granted.
The White Sox pitcher is excited by the prospect of an Opening Day roster spot, which would open when Danks is expected to be placed on the disabled list next week. But he’s not willing to get too far ahead of himself.
Axelrod said he has thrown 66 pitches in a game this spring. He pitched three innings on Wednesday and then went to the bullpen for more work. The right-hander, who is 3-2 with a 4.78 ERA in 18 major league outings, has a 3.21 spring ERA in 14 innings.
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“You get an opportunity, there’s no telling what can come from that,” Axelrod said. “I’ll prepare like I’d be there all season. I’m not going to look into things. I’m just going to prepare every day for my job.”
Danks said he’s a little disappointed but can understand why the White Sox want him to take more time to rehab. The left-hander felt like he didn’t have as good of velocity in Tuesday’s outing when he allowed 11 hits and 10 earned runs. But he also can see the positives, from being allowed more time to return to form to knowing he’s in pretty good shape only 7 1/ 2 months removed from shoulder surgery.
“Part of me understands I have some extra time to get ready and that’s what we’ll do. We’re going to keep working hard and stay on the five-day schedule and hopefully be active before too long,” Danks said. “I think I’m at peace with that. Really I’m just looking forward to being healthy. I feel like we’ve been on the right track, we’re still on the right track. We’re getting stronger and better each time. Obviously the results haven’t been there but there’s different stuff I’ve noticed from each start that’s improving.”