Dylan Axelrod had a dominant outing against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday in the Chicago White Sox's 8-1 win, and then he found himself packing his bags for Class AA Birmingham.
He might want to bring only a toothbrush, because manager Robin Ventura said that the pitcher would be back on the big-league roster by next week when rosters expand. Axelrod (2-2, 4.93 ERA) went 7 1/3 innings Wednesday, allowing just one run on three hits, walking four and fanning five.
The reason the Sox had to make the move was backup catcher Tyler Flowers will be gone Thursday with his wife about to have a baby, so the Sox will need an extra player for the bench.
Ventura did say that while Axelrod is still penciled in the rotation with Gavin Floyd on the shelf due to an elbow flexor injury, and even bigger news from the manager and pitching coach Don Cooper was that Chris Sale was staying on a regular schedule for his next start.
Sale lasted just four innings in the Tuesday loss to the Orioles, and Ventura gave him the early yank to make sure he didn't add extra innings to a season in which he is already on pace to go beyond what the Sox envisioned for him.
Cooper was very defensive about Sale's latest outing, and the idea that the media was trying to look beyond the fact that it was just a bad showing from the left-hander.
"Babe Ruth had a bad freaking day once in a while," Cooper said. "With all the questions on Chris and health and everything that's gone on ... every time he has a bad outing these, questions are going to come up? Ooh. Can he have a tough game?"
Cooper also pointed out that Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver and Stephen Strasburg had sub-par to poor games Tuesday as well. CC Sabathia had a bad game Wednesday.
"We're in a pennant race, and we're going to go for it, and we're going to run him out there," Cooper said. "If more happens later that makes us think we need to give him an extra day or two, we might do it, but right now, that's not on our minds."
Sale (15-5) has a 3.90 ERA since he received a 12-day rest after the All-Star break.