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updated: 6/28/2012 9:54 PM

White Sox' pitching staff continues to evolve

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  • White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod allowed only 2 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings or work against the Yankees on Thursday night.

      White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod allowed only 2 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings or work against the Yankees on Thursday night.
    Associated Press

 
 

Even without John Danks and Philip Humber, the White Sox' starting rotation is looking pretty good.

Jose Quintana, who takes the mound against the Yankees on Friday night, has been as sharp as any left-handed starter in the game, with the possible exception of rotation mate Chris Sale.

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Speaking of Sale, he is a sparkling 9-2, leads the American League with a 2.27 ERA and deserves to start the All-Star Game at this point.

Jake Peavy is sixth in the AL with a 2.84 ERA, and the Sox' right-hander would be much better than 6-4 if he had steady run support.

The up-and-down Gavin Floyd has his arrow pointing in the right direction again, he has won his last 2 starts, and he is riding a 13-scoreless-inning streak.

Even Dylan Axelrod, who came back up from Class AAA Charlotte when Humber went on the disabled list with a strained right elbow flexor, is starting to look like a keeper.

In Thursday night's 4-3 victory over New York at Yankee Stadium, Axelrod limited a potent offense to 2 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings.

For as good as the White Sox' rotation is -- and can be -- the bullpen remains a concern.

You can make a good argument the Sox strengthened the bullpen Thursday by designating Will Ohman (0-2, 6.41 ERA) for assignment. They added another left-handed specialist, Leyson Septimo, from Class AAA Charlotte to take Ohman's spot.

Ohman allowed 6 runs on 6 hits in his last 4 innings, forcing general manager Kenny Williams to finally pull the plug.

"Kenny came in and it was something where he wanted to make that move," manager Robin Ventura told reporters before Thursday's game. "It was hard finding spots to get (Ohman) in there. We wanted to get a guy like Septimo in there that's had a little more success against lefties."

Claimed off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks last June, the 26-year-old Septimo was 2-1 with a 1.48 ERA and 1 save with Charlotte. Left-handed hitters were 4-for-42 against Septimo in the International League.

Septimo figures to be an instant upgrade over Ohman, even though he has no major-league experience. But he should fit right in on the Sox' pitching staff, which now has six rookies.

Four of them are in the bullpen -- closer Addison Reed, Nate Jones, Hector Santiago and Septimo.

Over the last 12 games, the Sox' bullpen has allowed 19 earned runs in 29 innings. The Sox obviously are hoping all the young blood eventually will provide some relief.

"I'm sure there will be some growing pains in there," Ventura said. "But this is who we are. These are the guys we have on our roster, and we'll figure out a way to make it work.

"It's nice to be able to count on guys who you've had for a while, but right now we're going through that period where you have to make it happen with guys you're seeing for the first time."

•Former White Sox center fielder Aaron Rowand will team with Ed Farmer in the radio booth for the final two games against the Yankees this weekend.

Rowand played five seasons with the Sox and was one of the key cogs on the 2005 World Series championship club.

Jackson is unavailable Saturday and Sunday due to family matters.

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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