To recap the point I'm set to belabor--on Wednesday night, the White Sox started Pedro Hernandez. They sent a future middle reliever who isn't even ready for such a role yet to face the still-capable Red Sox offense in Fenway Park, and looked on as he suffered a predictably grizzly fate.
Everyone involved in the contest is a professional who gave an earnest effort, but the Sox effectively surrendered the game.
The principle of yielding one game so that rested starters can more than earn it back has its merits, and at least the Sox had the decency to do it on the road and spare their ticket-buyers.
Having Jake Peavy and Chris Sale as the most durable starters in the rotation can't feel very secure, and the White Sox efforts to pace them rather than place an inflexible innings limit on their seasons should be commended.
But unless something is specifically wrong with them right now, it's confusing why the Sox felt the need to play with two hands tied behind their back Wednesday.
The Sox just announced that they're pushing Dylan Axelrod to the bullpen, because nothing has popped up to derail Gavin Floyd's return on Monday. That will give them five starters, and convert Dylan into an extra hand for spot starts, rather than leave the task to some unprepared reliever. Robin seems enthused by this set-up.
“I think having him here and having the comfort if something happens and what happens today, then you’re able to have Axe to fill that spot instead of timing it up with somebody in the minor leagues," Ventura said.
One of the places Axelrod could have filled in is Saturday in Detroit, after Quintana, Peavy, and Sale pitched on normal rest. He could have then filled in once more the next week, and any other time down the road. Dylan Axelrod isn't special, but he's better than Pedro Hernandez.
Instead, the Sox committed hard to giving everyone a day off this week, even if it meant Pedro Hernandez, even if they just came out of the All-Star break where everyone got an extended break.
It cost them a game, but it's hard to see what they got in return.