The hottest White Sox topic this spring has been John Danks. Will he be ready for the beginning of the regular season or won't he. We've discussed the issue from many different angles, all of which are still fairly relevant ...
John Danks Showing Positive Signs in his Return
John Danks Returns to Mound for First Time Since Injury
Bumps in John Danks' Road Back Keep Getting Bigger
Screwgie & Axe Give Sox Leeway if Danks' Struggles Persist
Obviously, you can see that we slowly but surely saw this coming. As we've discussed with followers on Twitter, Danks is indeed likely to start the season on the disabled list (per manager Robin Ventura), so he can make more appearances before having the Sox trot him out when it counts.
Okay, I mean, I guess a while back we knew this would be a possiblilty, and given the team's depth, giving Danks more time could actually be an all-around good thing.
That's what our thought proccess should be. And at times, it is. But it's impossible to not start worrying that the velocity and/or control won't come back soon enough. Soon enough to put the White Sox over the top in the AL Central, that is ... considering how much his loss seemed to hurt the team come the end of the 2012 regular season.
But let's not loom on Danks that much. Let's leave him be, let him get himself ready, and hope he's the Danks of old sooner rather than later.
Instead, let's realize that we're in a better position for something like this to happen than most. After all, we've got Dylan Axelrod and Hector Santiago, both of which most believe are ready to take on a no. 5 starter role.
To sum up that debate: Hector Santiago's ceiling is much higher and may even have Axelrod's consistency/reliability, but him being in the bullpen is what may make that unit elite.
Manager Robin Ventura has also told media that it's likely going to be Axelrod given the first shot at the "interim position," if you will. And considering it's not a long-term move, I think it's a wise choice.
Unfortunately, right when we got that question seemingly figured out, another one has quickly arose.
Reliever Jesse Crain was initially not considered to be an area of concern, even though he had a small hip injury not too long ago. But with recent moves that he hasn't been feeling as well as he probably should, management is ready to take a cautious approach with him, too.
Not long ago we addressed this issue here: >> "Insurance in Place for Nagging Injury Woes"