Stewart Out, Axelrod In
The Zach Stewart era of long relief and occasional starting is over for now. Have mercy. The White Sox have optioned Stewart to AAA Charlotte, his roster spot will be occupied by Dylan Axelrod. Axelrod is 1-1 in his 7 big league appearances, all with the Sox. In those 7 games he’s posted a 3.08 ERA with a strikeout rate of 8.5 batters per 9 innings. He had one start this season which came against the Tigers, he gave up 2 runs over his 4.1 innings pitched. That’s not a lot of appearances to really determine anything other than it’s just nice to not have to worry about Stewart’s performance for a while, at least until he has some time to work some things down in Charlotte.
It appears that jumpstarting a trouncing by the major league’s worst team was the last straw for Stewart’s 2012. That makes Axelrod the next in line to prove his worth and it would probably be a good bet that the Sox will try to mix and match with internal pieces to try and fill some bullpen and back-end starting pitching gaps.