How will the White Sox make room for Carlos Rodon?

The club has options, especially with days off and a doubleheader on the horizon

It would certainly seem like another rehab start would be unnecessary for Carlos Rodon. He bounced back from taking a line drive to the forehead in his previous start, throwing five scoreless innings and 86 pitches against Lehigh Valley on Tuesday. Combine his two Triple-A outings, and you get this otherworldly line: 7.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 14 K.

Perhaps the White Sox want to see him throw starter-type pitch counts on regular rest against against advanced competition before calling him up, but a road trip to Buffalo to face another mediocre International League lineup doesn’t seem like the best use of his time, either.

The White Sox have options due to a irregular schedule. They have an off day Thursday after finishing up the Indians series, and then they have an off day the following Monday. But then Tuesday is a doubleheader against the Twins, marking the start of a stretch of 21 games over 20 days.

That’s why they haven’t yet announced after of their starters for the weekend series against Milwaukee. A few ways they can go with it:

Scenario Friday Saturday Sunday
Maintain rotation Santiago Shields Covey
Maintain 5 days Shields Covey Giolito/Rodon
Incorporate Rodon Santiago Shields Rodon

 

The White Sox had Hector Santiago pitch the ninth inning on his throw day Monday, so it seems like they’re open to shifting him back into the swingman role they originally envisioned. However, if the White Sox are planning to call up Kevan Smith — he just came off the DL for Charlotte — to relieve Alfredo Gonzalez of his burden, I’d rather see two lefties in the rotation to combat Smith’s issues controlling the running game. That one should be answered pretty shortly, whenever the White Sox announce their Friday starter.

It makes more sense for the White Sox to send down one of Dylan Covey or Lucas Giolito with Rodon starting Sunday, and I’m guessing it’s Covey should it come down to those two. Even if one of them is optioned to make room, the 26th man rules allow the Sox to start one of them during the doubleheader (they’d just need to return to Charlotte afterward to serve the required 10 days between call-ups). That’d keep both doubleheader starters on extra rest, and it’d also give Rodon an extra day before the three-week grind.

If the White Sox really wanted to appease the masses, they’d call up Michael Kopech for one of those doubleheader starts after Rodon pitches Sunday. The timing is just about right for his development, but the White Sox might want to space out their 40-man roster work. The Sox have to open one spot when Rodon comes off the 60-day DL, and while they have ways to create multiple vacancies — booting one of Gonzalez or Dustin Garneau from the catcher ranks, outrighting Ian Clarkin, shifting Ryan Cordell to the 60-day DL — they might want to see how Rodon responds to MLB stress before risking any permanent fates.

(Plus, the fan-service angle probably works better with a home start, rather than a debut in Minnesota.)

The Sox could also hold Rodon and subsequent pitching moves for the doubleheader on Tuesday, or they could start Rodon in Buffalo on Sunday and wait until Friday for the next domino. That seems less likely, because unless they alter the schedule to have Kopech or Carson Fulmer line up with the twin bill, the remaining starters wouldn’t be on the 40-man, and with multiple other roster considerations over the coming weeks, it wouldn’t make sense to create the space for such a temporary role.

UPDATE (10:45 a.m. CT): The Sox are going with the original rotation, but I’m guessing they’re waiting to make sure Rodon responds well between starts before deciding on Sunday:

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Josh Nelson

Would it be a concern if the White Sox outrighted Ian Clarkin that another team would make a claim on him? I’m not familiar how claims work on minor league players.

Josh Nelson

Ok. Thank you. Then from there they can option him to one of their minor league affliates, correct?

Patrick Nolan

I’ll predict Kopech debuts June 15-17 against the Tigers.

PauliePaulie

Yes. First 4 starts vs. Tigers, Twins, A’s, Rangers makes too much sense.

ndsoxfan

Send Bummer down and move Santiago to the pen.  

35Shields

Why Bummer? He’s got the second best FIP in the bullpen and is one of the only pitchers who can reliably keep the ball on the ground.

zerobs

Because they can.  Although I’d choose Beck to send down. 

ndsoxfan

Beck is a better choice.  I didn’t see the point of 4 leftys.  Avilian has been better and Fry has been awesome

metasox

Beck seems a likely odd-man out. I believe he is out of options so if the Sox are willing to risk losing him, it also opens a 40-man spot for Rodon.

On the other hand, Beck can cover multiple innings, and the Sox may like having Beck, Volstand and Santiago together in the pen to cover multiple innings at a time, especially with all the short starts

Lurker Laura

The 40-man kind of makes my head hurt.

Reindeer Games

HOW COULD YOU JIM!

It makes more sense for the White Sox to send down one of Dylan Covey or Lucas Giolito with Rodon starting Sunday, and I’m guessing it’s Covey should it come down to those two.

metasox

Garneau is on the roster. Would be interested in seeing the Sox bring him and Smith. A 30 year old journeyman, but with that Garneau has plenty of innings and pitchers caught under his belt