Jun 8, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina State pitcherCarlos Rodon
(16) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Rice Owls in the Raleigh super regional of the 2013 NCAA baseball tournament at Doak Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
With the recent acquisition of some more front line starting pitching, the Chicago White Sox can take their time in grooming No. 1 prospect Carlos Rodon for the starting rotation, while strengthening their bullpen all at the same time.
Maybe that is what the White Sox are thinking as well, as this tweet below says that in less words:
"Kenny Williams tells @KapandHaugh that Carlos Rodon will probably start his MLB career out of the bullpen like Chris Sale did."
I have zero problems with the left-handed Rodon, who was the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 MLB First-Year player draft, pitching from the bullpen next season. I would like to see him take a less-pressured and more complete route to the starting rotation, as he’s a big part of the future of the White Sox.
In three levels of the minors last season, Rodon had an impressive 2.92 ERA in nine games, which included six starts. He pitched just 24.2 innings, including 12 in Triple-A Charlotte.
His complete WHIP was 1.338 and he collected 38 strikeouts out of the 108 batters he faced. Of the strikeouts, Rodon has 18 strikeouts in Triple-A. He also didn’t allow a home run at any level.
Now, what I like more for the ’15 season is Rodon making the bullpen better than it was last season, and it didn’t cost the White Sox anything to make that improvement this offseason.
The White Sox can survive the ’15 season without Rodon in the starting rotation due to the fact they have not only Jeff Samardzija, but they have ace Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and most likely Hector Noesi and John Danks at the back of the rotation.
Sep 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcherChris Sale
(49) warms up before the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
All in all that is a really solid starting rotation, especially the top three in that group of players.
If Rodon does make the bullpen in ’15, it will most likely include players like Zach Duke, Javy Guerra, Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam and Daniel Webb, but that could be changed as well. Others will most likely be added to that group of relievers as well.
Petricka last season made the most appearances out of the bullpen with 67. In his 73 innings of work he built a 2.96 ERA, allowing just three home runs. He finished with 14 saves in 18 chances, and Petricka also had 10 holds last season.
The holds leader for the White Sox last season was Putnam with 16.
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Then the White Sox also have new closer David Robertson, who just agreed to a four-year, $46 million deal on Monday night with the White Sox, giving them an actual closer for the first time in quite awhile.
Thus far this offseason I like the moves the White Sox have made, and maybe putting Rodon in the bullpen for a season like they did with Sale when he first came up, is the smartest thing to do. It seems to have worked out for Sale, and it improves the bullpen for the “win-now” White Sox.