With that being the case, the team is going to have to determine reasonable expectations for Rodon in terms of how much he can contribute to the team in 2020.
White Sox GM, Rick Hahn, doesn’t expect him back until the second half of the season, as detailed by Scott Merkin of MLB.com.
That is a reasonable timeline considering that Tommy John surgery usually requires a 12-18 month rehab process.
At the earliest, the team could get him back in May while it is completely possible that if he encounters any setbacks, he could miss the entire 2020 season.
So, with that being said, the team probably should only expect to get around 10-12 starts from him this season.
Before going down with a torn UCL in his left elbow, the southpaw had a 5.19 ERA, 1.442 WHIP, and 3.62 FIP in 34 2/3 innings.
Performance-wise, the team can probably expect similar stats to that initially as control is generally an issue for pitchers returning from Tommy John surgery.
Rodon already struggled somewhat with that as he has a career walk rate of 3.9 BB/9. The good news is that the procedure usually does not impact velocity, so his solid strikeout rate of 8.8 K/9 should remain intact.
The 2020 season will probably serve as a trial-and-error phase of getting back to the mound and performing for Rodon.
With that, he would be able to go into next offseason worry-free and be ready to completely move past the surgery in 2021.
Obviously, for a team hoping to contend in 2020, that isn’t the most ideal situation which is why they should not be relying on him for really anything next season.
The Chicago White Sox can certainly hope that he returns next season and can help their rotation, but if they make the mistake of relying on him for innings down the stretch, they might regret it.