Is Carlos Rodon the Chicago White Sox No. 2 starter?
By Brian Draus
Since Carlos Rodon has been placed into the rotation, he has been stellar to say the least.
While he has struggled to make it past six innings, it seems as though opponents have struggled to score with him on the mound, considering his 2.66 ERA. Is this the birth of another ace on the South Side, and if so will he be or is he already the No. 2 pitcher in the rotation?
Though Rodon has walked 24 batters in 40.2 innings pitched, he has been very difficult to make contact against. The lefty has fanned 40 hitters, which is basically one hitter per inning. A lot of that is due to his elite slider, which is nearly impossible to hit.
Another stat that to look at is how few home runs he has thrown. The word few might be an exaggeration, considering that only one hitter has taken Rodon deep since entering the Majors in April.
Former White Sox catcher Josh Phegley was the culprit, and it was only a solo home run at that. The interesting part about the game is Rodon allowed the home run in what was his first MLB start, which to date has been his worst.
The start I am referring to was in Oakland, where Rodon allowed five earned runs in just four innings pitched. In his other four starts, Rodon has allowed no more than one earned run (one start he allowed three runs).
Here is the main reason why I think Rodon is the team’s No. 2 starter right now … the other pitchers in the rotation.
Jun 7, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
We all are fully aware of the issues John Danks has had over the last few years post-injury, but surprisingly, the offseason addition of Jeff Samardzija, along with Jose Quintana’s first couple of months haven’t exactly gone to plan.
Samardzija has been an innings eater, but he has also given up far too many runs. With an ERA approaching 5.00 (4.93), inconsistency has ruled Samardzija’s season.
Quintana’s start to 2015 was terrible, as two of his first three starts put his ERA over 8.00 (8.40). While Quintana is known for his no-decisions (three), they have been doubled by his losses this year (six).
So here is the dilemma, can the White Sox stay in the race with the rookie left-hander Rodon as the No. 2 starter?
My answer is that it will be very difficult, due to the fact that it will be hard for a team to skip their second starter from time to time and expect to hang around until the end.
Samardzija and Quintana need to be consistently good if the team wants to play meaningful September games, something they have not been doing so far, though both have the ability to do so as they have in the past.
If Samardzija and Quintana are able to improve, and the offense can be at least average, this should be an interesting remainder of the season for the South Siders. If not, expect another disappointing summer, and possibly a different roster by the end of the season.
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