White Sox: Carlos Rodon Durability Concerns Could Limit Potential

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 26: Carlos Rodon
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 26: Carlos Rodon /

White Sox left-handed hurler has been battling injuries over the past two seasons. Should his lack of durability be a cause for concern?

When the White Sox selected Carlos Rodon with the third pick of the 2014 draft, many fans believed the team had drafted another player that could develop into a front-line starting pitcher. Three years after Rodon was drafted, some of those Sox fans are wondering if he can remain healthy for a full season.

After starting the 2017 season on the disabled list, Rodon ended his third full season with another injury. The 24-year-old hasn’t been able to pitch a full season in the majors since being promoted in 2015, and he could possibly fail to realize his true potential moving forward.

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Since 2016, Rodon has been on the disabled list three times. Last season, Rodon was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained wrist. He suffered the injury after slipping on the dugout steps at Guaranteed Rate Field. At the start of this season, Rodon was placed on the 60-day disabled list with left biceps bursitis. He only made one start during Spring Training, and missed Opening Day for the Sox.

Rodon wouldn’t make his first start of 2017 until June 28. He would finish this season with a 2-5 record and 4.15 ERA through just 12 starts before being sidelined with a left shoulder inflammation injury on Sept. 5. Rodon would later have surgery on his left shoulder on Sept. 27.

The Sox current rebuild has started off greatly despite a 67-95 record this past season. With young pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer having solid performances in the final month of the season, many fans are anxious for 2018 to begin. However, Rodon could miss the start of next season if he doesn’t recover quickly from his latest injury.

Rodon could lose his spot as ace of Sox pitching staff if he’s unable to remain healthy. Giolito had a very strong September and if he has a good Spring Training, he could possibly start for the Sox on Opening Day. The Sox also have other talented young pitchers in the minor leagues in Michael Kopech and Alec Hansen. Both of these pitchers could very well be promoted to the majors by the end of next season.

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With the Sox having a bevy of pitching talent, Rodon’s lack of durability could prevent him from becoming a top-of-the rotation starter on the South Side. If Rodon is able to put together a healthy season in 2018, it would bode well not only for him but for the Sox. However, if he can’t, the Sox might have to look at a future rotation that could have Rodon as the third or fourth best starting pitcher.