White Sox: Who Will Be The Next Ace on The South Side?

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 24: Lucas Giolito
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 24: Lucas Giolito /
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CHICAGO, IL – JULY 25: Carlos Rodon /

Rodon was selected third overall in the 2014 MLB draft out of North Carolina State. The left-handed pitcher was expected to get to the majors quickly and he did just that. Rodon made his MLB debut in 2015 and hasn’t looked back since. Over three major league seasons, Rodon has compiled a 20-21 record with a 4.15 ERA.

The 24-year-old has shown flashes of ace potential, but recently he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Before the start of the 2017 season, Rodon was placed on the disabled list after just making one start in Spring Training. The Sox put Rodon on the 60-day disabled list to start 2017 with left biceps bursitis.

Rodon wouldn’t make his first start of the season until June 28 against the New York Yankees. While Rodon got a late start to his 2017 campaign, he would have quality starts for the Sox in July and August. In fact, Rodon pitched four consecutive quality starts in August for the Sox. His best start of the season came on Aug. 4 against Boston. In that game, Rodon pitched eight innings while allowing just two earned runs and recording 11 strikeouts with no walks.

Although Rodon had a solid August, he couldn’t finish his season healthy as he was again placed on the disabled list in September. Rodon would end 2017 injured with left shoulder inflammation. For the year, Rodon finished 2017 with a 2-5 record and 4.15 ERA. Certainly disappointing for a pitcher that didn’t pitch the first two months of the season.

If Rodon is ever going to become the next ace of the Sox, he will not only need to remain healthy but he will need to be consistent on the mound. While Rodon had a strong month of August, he struggled in his first full month of the season in July. Rodon pitched just two outings of six innings or more in July. Rodon had a strange outing against the Cubs on July 25 where he recorded 11 strikeouts but didn’t last more than four innings.

Rodon has a lot of potential to be an ace for the Sox, but he hasn’t put it all together yet. He’s also in danger of missing the start of another season in 2018. With the Sox having plenty of pitching depth in the minors, Rodon could see himself as the team’s third or fourth pitcher in the rotation in a few years. In order for Rodon to realize his potential, he will need a dominant season on the mound soon.