CHICAGO – Philip Humber finally spoke up about his sore right elbow, and now the White Sox are shutting him down.
Humber, 29, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday because of a flexor strain in his elbow. He will be replaced in the rotation by Dylan Axelrod, who will start today against the Milwaukee Brewers.
In retrospect, Humber’s injury might help explain his recent struggles on the mound. He allowed 14 earned runs in his past 151⁄3 innings to increase his ERA to 6.01, the worst mark on the Sox’s pitching staff.
Humber said he tried to pitch through the pain.
“I have a high pain tolerance as it is,” Humber said. “My mentality is if you don’t have a broken arm, you ought to be out there pitching.
“It’s hard to say when it started or anything like that. It’s been something that’s gotten gradually worse, and it finally got to a point where I felt like I had to say something.”
Although Humber did not offer a specific timeline for his return, he expressed optimism for a quick recovery.
“When I come back, I fully expect to pitch good ballgames and give our team a chance to win,” Humber said. “A lot of times this year, I felt like I wasn’t really doing that.
“It wasn’t for a lack of trying or a lack of working. Sometimes, you have to take a step back in order to take a step forward.”
See ya: The Sox picked youth over experience Friday when they designated 35-year-old outfielder Kosuke Fukudome for assignment.
Fukudome’s tenure on the South Side was as brief as it was disappointing. He hit .171 (7 for 41) with four RBIs in 24 games after signing a one-year, $1 million deal as a free agent in February.
Sox manager Robin Ventura said he liked what he saw from 25-year-old Jordan Danks, who arrived in early June after Fukudome went on the disabled list because of an oblique muscle strain. Danks entered Friday hitting .385 along with a stolen base in 10 games.
“It’s good to give [Fukudome] a chance to go somewhere else and get playing time,” Ventura said.
Staying calm: Axelrod started one game this season and three games last season, so he said he did not expect to be nervous for today’s outing.
However, a possible start next week could be a different story.
“I have looked ahead, and if I start at Yankee Stadium, that would be a dream come true,” Axelrod said. “That would be awesome.”
Axelrod, 26, is 1-1 with a 3.43 ERA in four career starts with the Sox.
Quick hits: The Sox recalled right-handed relief pitcher Brian Bruney from Triple-A Charlotte. … Former WWE wrestler Shawn Michaels threw out a ceremonial first pitch Friday.