The Chicago White Sox might get a certain player back for Opening Day that they wouldn’t have been available if their first game was in late March.
The Chicago White Sox never would have expected to have Carlos Rodon ready for Opening Day during normal circumstances, but given what has transpired, it is actually plausible that he will be ready from the get-go.
With the league now talking about starting up again in June for a second spring training and a July 1 Opening Day (as detailed by Jeff Passan of ESPN), there’s potential for Rodon to be ready to start the season in the South Side.
Normally, having someone recovering from surgery start in the minors to get used to facing live batters again would make the most sense.
However, it has been unclear so far what will happen, if anything at all, this season for the minor leagues as can be read about in a piece by Bill Madden of the NY Daily News.
If there is no minor league baseball, having Rodon start the season with the Chicago White Sox might be the only real option of giving the southpaw game-action outside of scrimmages.
Rodon’s return would create an interesting situation as the team already has a five-man rotation they are committed to as of now with Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Gio Gonzalez, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dylan Cease.
As it is, Michael Kopech is also recovering from Tommy John Surgery and will make a push to earn a rotation spot at some point this season, in all likelihood.
Kopech and Rodon, though, could both benefit from scheduled doubleheaders which would potentially allow them to get occasional starts.
I actually think the most likely scenario for them this season is that they will both be on the roster and pitch out of the bullpen for the most part, while making short starts on days with doubleheaders and possibly piggy-backing one another.
Obviously, the need could arise for more heavy involvement in the rotation, but this method of re-integrating them could potentially prepare Kopech and Rodon to be ready sooner.
It certainly is going to be interesting to see what the Chicago White Sox decide to do with Carlos Rodon once baseball resumes.