White Sox starting pitching depth has been tested early this season and with another injured starter, their pitching woes have been magnified even more.
Entering this season, the White Sox needed more positive developments from their starting pitchers along with other players. A month into this season, there haven’t been many positive developments for the rotation and now the Sox will be without Carlos Rodon for the immediate future.
On May 2, the White Sox announced that Rodon would be placed on the 10-day injured list due to inflammation in his left elbow. However, the possibility of Rodon needing Tommy John surgery is very likely as tests on his elbow revealed swelling according to the Chicago Tribune. Sadly, Rodon’s latest injury could derail his career not only with the Sox but in MLB.
With the recent injury to Rodon, the White Sox already troublesome starting rotation will see its weakness magnified, even more, this season. In their last two games, the White Sox starting pitchers haven’t been able to last more than five innings. On Saturday, Manny Banuelos had a disastrous outing as he allowed nine earned runs in 2.2 innings pitched.
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On Friday, Reynaldo Lopez allowed six earned runs in just five innings pitched. This past week hasn’t been good for Sox starters and it could perhaps get even worse as the season moves on.
While many Sox fans bemoaned the organization for not signing Manny Machado or Bryce Harper this offseason, their focus should have been with the franchise not properly addressing their starting rotation.
Yes, signing Machado or Harper would have helped with ticket sales and relevancy, but the fact remains, the Sox would still be struggling with their rotation. Trading for Ivan Nova is starting to look like a failed acquisition. Signing Ervin Santana to a minor league deal was a waste of time for everyone involved.
There is still one solid starting pitcher that’s a free agent in Dallas Keuchel but it doesn’t appear that the Sox will even approach the possibility of signing him. Internally, there aren’t many options for the Sox to address their starting pitching weakness at the moment. Dylan Cease will be starting for Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday afternoon and shouldn’t be rushed. He just had his first outing of six innings or more in his previous start.
Whenever the Sox do promote Cease, it won’t be because of desperation, but it will be because he’s indeed ready. For now, the Sox and their fans will have to hope for the best with the starting rotation. Lucas Giolito recently returned from injury and pitched five innings. He will need to pitch much deeper into games to help the Sox starting rotation.
If things don’t get better for the Sox pitching this season, this will surely be another 100-loss year on the Southside. For the front office, they will need to address pitching heavily this offseason. Unfortunately, there won’t be much optimism from fans that the Sox front office can even sign a solid starting pitcher or two. Especially if this last offseason was any indication.