CHICAGO -- Craziest story of the week, non-Manny Ramirez Division:
The man who will attempt to stop white-hot Detroit's 11-game winning streak for the White Sox on Wednesday, right-hander Dylan Axelrod, is the nephew of long-time agent Barry Axelrod.
And in making his first major-league start, the Sox rookie will plug into the rotation in place of Jake Peavy, long-time client of ... Barry Axelrod.
As if that's not coincidental enough, there's more.
Dylan Axelrod was the Padres' 30th round pick in the 2007 draft out of UC Irvine. Then-Padres general manager Kevin Towers is a long-time friend of Axelrod (the agent), and at the time, Axelrod (the agent) told Towers he wasn't expecting any personal favors when the team drafted Axelrod (the pitcher).
Towers, as good a bullpen-builder as any executive, assured Barry Axelrod that Dylan was legitimate and this was no favor.
Then things took another weird twist.
The Padres had let Dylan Axelrod go, and in 2009 he was down-and-out and pitching for the Windy City ThunderBolts of the independent Frontier League. When the White Sox sent four young pitchers to the Padres in a deal to acquire, yes, Peavy ... Chicago needed to replenish its farm system. Axelrod was pitching so well for the ThunderBolts that the Sox signed him.
Then, one more strange turn.
Dylan Axelrod pitched opening day for Double-A Birmingham this season.
Who started the next day? Peavy, on an injury-rehabilitation assignment.
"The irony of the whole situation keeps hitting me in the face," Barry Axelrod says. "It's intertwined all the way through. And Jake's been great to him."
Both Barry and his brother Dennis -- Dylan's father -- are in Chicago and will be watching nervously at U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday afternoon.