Chicago White Sox: Is Carlos Rodon pitching well enough?
Is the No. 1 prospect in the Chicago White Sox organization, Carlos Rodon, doing enough this spring to battle for a spot on the Opening Day roster, either via the starting rotation or the bullpen?
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
In three starts this spring, including Monday, Rodon has a 6.14 ERA in 7.1 innings pitched in games against San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers and now the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Rodon has also collected eight strikeouts this spring, while allowing eight hits, five earned runs and he’s walked three batters.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to see Rodon pitching at U.S. Cellular Field as much as the next guy, but I just don’t want the White Sox to have to rush the 22-year-old pitcher if there is no need to.
Opponents are batting .276 off him this spring, and he’s built a WHIP of 1.50 in those three outings in Cactus League play.
On Monday, he pitched three innings, where he allowed two earned runs on two walks and collected three strikeouts. Being this was his longest outing this spring to date, Rodon has managed to pitch no fewer than two innings in his starts, but what I would like to see is how well he does as a game continues.
Let’s be honest, Rodon has very little professional baseball experience, as it hasn’t even been a year since he was the No. 3 overall selection in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
He didn’t get the experience against MLB-style batters last September with the White Sox deciding against calling him up to the big league roster, so all of this is new to the kid.
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I believe if he’s given more time Rodon can pitch a very solid game against major leaguers, but this spring has me wondering off just a tiny bit if he would be best served with a month or two with the Charlotte Knights and start the season in Triple-A?
Am I wrong in even beginning to think that?
I want what is best for Rodon, because in the long run that is what is best for the White Sox, right?
According to Scott Merkin of ChicagoWhiteSox.com, he reported Rodon had trouble with his fastball in the first inning.
"“Merkin wrote: As White Sox top prospect Carlos Rodon labored through the first inning of Monday’s 6-2 loss to the D-backs, catcher Kevan Smith was all over the place on the receiving end of Rodon’s fastballs.”"
Merkin went on to write:
"“Between the first and second innings, Rodon made a point of closing his front shoulder and extending his throwing arm. The difference was palpable.”"
Knowing Rodon has it in him to make the adjustments needed has to stand out to the White Sox coaching staff, especially pitching coach Don Cooper.
Again, I’m all for having Rodon in the majors, but I’d rather see him as a starter and not in a relief role for that very single reason. He needs to keep learning how to make adjustments as the game goes as a starting pitcher, and he can’t do that in an inning or two in relief.
Yes, this is kind of a make-or-break season for the White Sox in terms of a few things only having a year to possible work out, but with Rodon, he’s the future of the franchise with the potential to contribute now. With that potential comes the risk of sending up Rodon before he’s completely ready, and that is what has me worrying thus far this spring.
What are your thoughts on Rodon … do you believe he’s ready to be a starting pitcher when the regular season rosters are announced, or would you rather him keep working on his craft in Triple-A to start the season?
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