Starting pitcher Carlos Rodon led the Chicago White Sox to another victory Wednesday afternoon against the Detroit Tigers, continuing his hot stretch. Rodon has been one of the team’s lone bright spots in the second year of a rebuild. Although missing most of the first half of the season recovering from shoulder surgery, it is his recent bout of success that has many believing Rodon is posed to be the leader of the White Sox staff when they are ready to compete again.
In his last five starts alone, Rodon has seven innings or more in five of the starts showing that he is not only effective but durable as well. This is key as he has missed good portions of the previous two seasons due to a variety of injuries. Rodon only made 40 starts combined in both 2016 and 2017 which is not good for a player who was selected third overall in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft.
Like last season, Rodon didn’t make his season debut until late June. When Rodon has been healthy though, he has shown the ability to be an extremely dominant pitcher, especially against quality MLB teams. In 2017, he made four consecutive starts against teams that made the playoffs, including the two teams that would meet in the World Series. In those four starts, he averaged seven strikeouts and one a half walks while completing six innings or more. Being able to be pitch effectively against the best teams in the league is what makes a player an ace. Three of the four starts would register as quality starts.
Rodon only made 12 starts in 2017 before succumbing to a shoulder injury that required surgery. Following Wednesday’s win, his next projected start will be against the Twins next Tuesday night which will also be his 12th. Barring injury, the White Sox left-hander is expected to pitch until the end of the season which he hasn’t done so since 2016. So far this season, he has averaged six innings per start and has a WHIP of 1.051 which would be among one of better in all of baseball if he had more starts.
As the White Sox continue to trek on through there rebuild, Rodon is providing them with a cornerstone to how the team can find success again. Along with him, the team projected staff in 2019 could include Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Michael Kopech, and possibly Dylan Cease. If Giolito and Lopez can mature while Kopech and Cease pitch the way they have in the minors, the White Sox future starting rotation could be very formable.
For the rest of the season, the most important aspect is to finish the season uninjured. The goal for next season is for him to achieve 200 innings pitch which he has not done in his four-year career. Rodon is on the cusp of becoming an Ace for the White Sox with every quality start. Flashes have been shown the last two years, but have unattainable due to injury. The way he finishes the season may be the single most important piece heading into the offseason.