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updated: 5/5/2013 9:08 PM

True, these are tough times for White Sox

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  • It will difficult to remove Dylan Axelrod from the White Sox rotation when some of their starters return from injury.

      It will difficult to remove Dylan Axelrod from the White Sox rotation when some of their starters return from injury.
    Associated Press

 
 

We've already spent enough time pondering the surplus of statistical categories in which the White Sox find themselves in last place.

You already know where they stand in the areas of OBP, RISP, BB, and fans' general mental health. The numbers aren't good.

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Heck, they're even in last place in the AL Central.

So, we're not doing that whole thing here. Not today.

You're already sad, I have a headache and I don't feel much like making either of those conditions worse. What I'll do instead is address a couple of listeners' most common inquiries. And when it's over, I may even give you a hug.

•Can the Sox get by with the pitching injuries?

They should be able to hold relatively steady over the next couple of weeks while they await the return of John Danks and Jake Peavy to the rotation.

The injury to Gavin Floyd is a blow to the team considering the amount of innings he would be expected to work and the number of quality starts he could provide. While often frustrating, Floyd usually does a good enough job of keeping games close enough to be winnable.

However, those wins have been more difficult to come by considering a Sox offense that's, well, last in offense -- sorry -- this season.

So far Dylan Axelrod has been better than expected in the absence of Danks, and there's reason to believe the same can happen with Hector Santiago, who's still learning to be a major-league starter. I've always been curious to see what he could do in a rotation for an extended period.

The real question is: What does the team do with Santiago and Axelrod once they have a healthy Danks and Peavy back?

While Santiago certainly adds an element of depth to a bullpen that has struggled of late, the decision of who stays in the rotation will come down to performance.

If there's only one available spot, at this point, I'd have a difficult time removing Axelrod from a position in which he has been doing well.

Ultimately, Santiago will get his chance. It just might have to wait.

•Between Keppinger and Gillaspie, who sits when Gordon Beckham returns?

First and foremost, Beckham will immediately get his job back. He will start, and he should. I don't believe the White Sox have any interest in letting him lose his job because of an injury, considering Beckham appeared to be trending in the right direction offensively.

Now, there isn't any question who has had the better start to this season between Keppinger and Gillaspie.

Gillaspie has been a nice addition and a wonderful spring-training surprise, while Keppinger has an OPS that isn't even touching .400.

That's really not good.

But it isn't so much about what they're doing now as what the team projects they'll be doing for the rest of the season.

For that reason, they might choose to give Keppinger more opportunity, although it would be pretty difficult to take Gillaspie out of the lineup considering what he's doing right now.

I wouldn't be surprised if they decide to use them both in a platoon situation.

•Chris Rongey is the host of the White Sox pregame and postgame shows on WSCR 670-AM The Score. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRongey and at chrisrongey.com. Subscriber Total Access members can email him questions each week via our online link.

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