As I’ve said many times since the Chicago White Sox drafted Carlos Rodon last June with the No. 3 overall selection in the ’14 MLB Draft, it was Christmas come early for the team.
Thursday night was a continuance of that statement with the White Sox lefty pitching a very solid six innings, in what amounted to a no-decision for Rodon and a 2-1 White Sox loss in 11 innings.
Even with the loss, the positive was Rodon was able to work out a couple bumps, and his pitching was something to really give this franchise some hope for the future, because with the team being in last place in the AL Central (24-28 overall) there is a lot to be wanted.
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Rodon (1-0) allowed just one run on five hits and three walks. He struck out 10 and lowered his season ERA to 3.12, as it was 3.45 entering the ballgame. The one run allowed came in the first inning off a Prince Fielder ground ball single to center.
In eight appearances this season (five starts) the 22-year old Rodon has collected 35 strikeouts in 34.2 innings.
That’s not a bad start to a career. He even struck out the side twice in the no-decision, the first and fifth innings, which is nice to see as well. Rodon finished with 108 pitches, 66 for strikes.
The White Sox broadcasting crew gave us a little scare when they were concerned about a potential blister, and if it would affect his slider, but nothing really came of that concern and he did throw his slider after they spoke of the concern.
In his past three games (vs. Cleveland, Houston and Texas) Rodon has pitched at least six innings in all three starts, including 6.1 against the Astros on May 29. In those games he allowed a total of 17 hits and three earned runs, one in each of the aforementioned starts.
His walks have been down his past two starts with Rodon having none at Houston and the three against the Rangers.
Back to his strikeouts, the rookie left-hander really showed his abilities on Thursday with not only having the 10 strikeout effort against the Rangers, but he vastly improved his strikeout total from the previous two games combined. In the past three starts for Rodon he’s tallied a total 18 strikeouts.
It is just exciting to see exactly what the White Sox have in a pitcher like Rodon. He’s a future ace, he should be a mainstay in the rotation.
Here is something to think about … as this season goes along Rodon is only going to get better … now it will be up to his teammates to follow the lead of the rookie and improve along the way as well. They’ll have to if they want team success.