One of the keys to the success of the 2012 White Sox was avoiding a thorough exploration of their lack of depth.
On that note, this Friday is not a particularly good day.
White Sox place Philip Humber on the D-L. Designate Kosuke Fukudome for assignment. Bringing up Brian Bruney.
— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) June 22, 2012
That's a lot to digest, so let's cut it into pieces.
Humber: His Saturday outing might have been a slight improvement, but now he's diagnosed with a strained right elbow flexor, which requires multiple weeks of rest depending on severity (See Mark's analysis for more medical jargon), but also probably an MRI to rule out something more severe.
Humber may be out of favor, and a prime candidate for getting removed from the rotation when Danks returns, but he certainly would have been useful till the end of July. Instead--after Zach Stewart's notable flameout (which Tom Fornelli postulates was an audition)--Dylan Axelrod seems to have the inside track on the 5th starter slot.
You may remember Axelrod from a promising trio of starts from the end of 2011, you more likely remember him only getting through 4.1 innings against the Tigers in early May and allowing two solo home runs.
Fukudome: Kosuke had the combination of never playing, being unhappy about never playing, and not being particularly well-suited for a pinch-hitting/pinch-fielding role that pitted him in a 'Best Athlete' competition with Brent Lillibridge and Jordan Danks.
As such, this became a question of whether the Sox were willing to cut bait on his $1 million salary. Jordan Danks making the team just a little bit less anxious about who would hold down a spot in the outfield in case of an injury probably helped.
So did Fukudome playing poorly--both on the team and during his rehab stint (2 for 13, 3 BB)
It's likely we've seen the last of him, since there are plenty of offense-starved teams, and he wasn't happy with his opportunities in this organization. In fact the Trib is just reporting it as a release.
Bruney: He's back again--beardless, slimmer--after dominating AAA hitters at Charlotte for the second-straight season.
There's an absence of excitement over Bruney since he's 30 years old with 272 career appearances and a 4.70 ERA. He was also up with the big club last year, flashed some of his big fastball and slider, and also demonstrated that his consistency isn't really his thing.
Which makes it all the more bizarre that he recently started a few games in Charlotte. The notion of him making a spot start in Chicago is an unappealing one.
Fukudome being replaced with Danks long-term is worthy of a shrug; Jordan is realizing his destiny as an athletic fourth outfielder, and for less money. And since Hardball Talk reminded that Humber has a 7.47 ERA since the perfect game, Axelrod's performance might not register much of a drop-off either, but the starting pitching depth is being drilled down to the bone at this point.
If anything is going to prompt a move in that department, this would.