White Sox: Carlos Rodon Dominant in Second Start from Injury

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 03: Carlos Rodon
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 03: Carlos Rodon /

White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon records double-digit strikeouts in second start after returning from injury. Southpaw was able to record first quality start of season.

Carlos Rodon was shaky in his first start in returning from a biceps injury on June 28. In his second start against the Oakland Athletics on Monday, Rodon had his best outing of the season thus far. The 2014 first round draft pick recorded 10 strikeouts while allowing just two earned runs. Rodon would help the White Sox defeat the Athletics 7-2 to start their road trip.

Rodon lasted 6.1 innings in a dominant performance against Oakland. Although Rodon didn’t allow a earned run in his first start of the season last Wednesday, he did give up six walks to the New York Yankees. In his start against the Athletics on Monday, Rodon allowed just three walks.

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The Sox were able to give Rodon run support early as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead. After Rodon allowed two earned runs in the second inning, the Sox came back in the third inning. Rodon would retire 11 consecutive Oakland batters until he gave up a single to Jed Lowrie in the sixth inning.

With Rodon’s strong quality start, the White Sox were able give their bullpen more rest. This has been a problem lately as the Sox are 28th in MLB in quality starts this season. Rodon’s progress after returning from injury has to be a good sign for the White Sox.

Last season, Rodon finished his 2016 campaign with solid outings in his final two starts. After the White Sox traded Chris Sale this past offseason, Rodon was in line to start this season as the team’s number two pitcher in the rotation. However, a biceps injury sidelined Rodon after he made one start during Spring Training.

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The White Sox will certainly need similar outings from Rodon like he had on Monday against Oakland. With the starting rotation back at full strength with the returns of Rodon and James Shields from injuries, the bullpen could routinely see less work before the sixth inning moving forward. This season is important for Rodon’s continued development, if he’s able to build from his last start, he could become a top of the rotation starter sooner rather than later.