How should Carlos Rodon be used in ’15?
By Brian Draus
A big question that many fans of the Chicago White Sox have been asking going into 2015 has been: How should the White Sox use Carlos Rodon in 2015?
However, with the injury to Chris Sale this spring, Rodon may be forced into the rotation when the season begins, but here is my question: Would it be better to keep him in the minors until later in the season to prevent his arbitration clock from starting?
Should they bring him up right away and put him in the rotation? How about later in the year? Let’s look at the pros and cons of putting Rodon in the rotation to start the season.
1. The Sox would get another electric starter in their rotation.
Feb 28, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon poses for a portrait during photo day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Rodon is an talented LHP, with the chance to be a top-notch pitcher in the major leagues. With a great slider and a good fastball, he would be tough to hit right now. He showed that on Friday with four strikeouts in two innings in his spring training debut.
Rodon also has a developing changeup and curveball. It would add depth to the rotation and would increase the White Sox chances of winning in 2015.
2. It lengthens the White Sox rotation.
If the White Sox were to start Rodon at the MLB level, he would give them a good fourth starter.
The White Sox are in a bit of a bind with John Danks and Hector Noesi at the back of their rotation, and putting Noesi in the bullpen might be the best option.
3. He would make the White Sox a formidable foe in 2015.
The White Sox already have Sale, Jeff Samardzija and Jose Quintana in the first three spots of the rotation.
Assuming Rodon were to enter the rotation, the White Sox could have four very good starters. If Danks were to bounce back even in the slightest, the White Sox would be right there among the top teams in the American League.
1. He may need to work on his changeup/stress on arm
While his slider is devastating, the problem with it is that with the amount of stress it puts on his arm.
If he develops a good changeup (such as Sale – and throws it as much as he does), he could be able to eliminate a lot of the stress off of his arm.
2. The arbitration clock issue
There is no point of bringing him up to the majors in April. While the White Sox may lose a couple of extra games (given they will be to division opponents), is it really worth an extra year of control?
Divisions are won and lost in August and September, not April.
3. Do you want to have him around at the end of the year?
In my opinion, it will be hard for Rodon to pitch a full season in the majors as a starter.
That is due to the fact that he has yet to even start a full season in the minors yet. It might be best to put him in the bullpen to start off (a la Sale) and put him in the rotation next season.
Plus, if the White Sox are in contention, it will be best to have Rodon thriving in his role, not falling apart or being shut down.
Overall, this is a big decision for the White Sox. Rodon is a big part of their future, both this year and over the next few.
The problem is this is reference to Rodon. If he doesn’t have the stamina to pitch 200 innings, and the White Sox attempt to do so, there could be some very serious consequences.
That is why the White Sox need to be very careful how they handle Rodon. While I think he is going to be a horse in the majors, it might be the best idea to keep him in minors until May or June due to his arbitration clock.
On top of that, get his feet wet at the MLB level by starting him out in the bullpen.
Rodon will be a part of the White Sox rotation barring injury … it is just a matter of when.
Speaking of when: When do you want to see Rodon in the White Sox rotation?
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