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Ventura makes it official: Axelrod is White Sox’ fifth starter
SURPRISE, Ariz. — White Sox manager Robin Ventura said right-hander Dylan Axelrod will start the fifth game of the season against the Seattle Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field next Saturday.
Axelrod made seven starts for the Sox last season and has been groomed for the role as a backup plan in case John Danks wasn’t able to begin the season with the team. The Sox said last week that Danks would go on the disabled list as he continues to build arm strength after having shoulder surgery in August, and they placed him on the DL Tuesday retroactive to March 22.
“He’s going to be the fifth guy for right now and then, you know, see how he does,” Ventura said.
Hector Santiago, a left-hander, was also considered a candidate and was told to be prepared to start if needed, especially if the Sox match up against a team that is weaker against lefties.
“Having the options with Axe and Santiago, that gives you a right and left-handed option that you can conceivably play matchups with at some point if you wanted,” general manager Rick Hahn said Tuesday.
But Ventura said the job will be Axelrod’s for at least a while.
“You could [mix and match] but I’d like to see how he does,” Ventura said. “Give him a run at it and see what he can do. I don’t want him throwing every pitch thinking this will cost him next week or the next five days. Let him go out and pitch and we’ll figure it out after that.”