Carlos Rodón’s future more uncertain than ever, which says something

Because the White Sox can’t share good news without breaking bad news, the encouraging return of Lucas Giolito was saddled by the loss of Carlos Rodón, who is battling inflammation in his left elbow. The length of his absence is undetermined.

(Live studio audience: HOW UNDETERMINED IS IT?)

It’s so undetermined that Rick Hahn said “everything is on the table,” and Rodón is not fazed by the prospect of Tommy John surgery.

Sorry, these are supposed to be funnier.

“Honestly, I’m only 26 years old, luckily, and hopefully I can play this game for 10 more years,” he said. “So I’m still fairly young. If it’s Tommy John, so be it to get me back on this field.”

Tommy John surgery is nothing to be blasé about, especially given the immediate context in which Rodón ponders the concept. Zack Burdi is still seeking normalcy in workload and stuff in his 22nd month after surgery. Also, Micker Adolfo just went on the injured list with a recurrence of soreness in his surgically repaired elbow — and he’d been DHing the whole time. Given that Luis Robert took Adolfo’s roster spot and Adolfo’s still within a year of his surgery, there’s a chance the injury is a way to give him a breather and reconfigure the outfield, but we’ll find out in a week.

Even if you don’t count the 22-year-old Adolfo as a like case, Burdi is just 24, or two years younger than Rodón’s “only 26.” Rodon would also be undergoing his second significant procedure on his throwing arm when accounting for the shoulder surgery at the end of 2017, so age may not be its usual reliable self when it comes to impact.

Hopefully Rodón doesn’t need Tommy John surgery, although the combination of elbow and forearm tenderness is never a good thing. Neither is edema, as doctors found blood in his elbow flexor muscle. I’m guessing Rodón’s “so be it” is an attempt at a stiff upper lip in face of bad news, not an underestimation of any surgery that lies ahead. Dane Dunning deployed a similar attitude as he tried to avoid having his elbow opened, and we’ll see how he recovers from his own TJS.

We talked about Rodón’s place in the rebuild last year, and my perspective was that the White Sox couldn’t bank on getting a meaningful return for him in a trade, and Rodón didn’t figure to make bank in free agency due to all the missed time, so they were best suited to let Rodón give whatever he could give them through the end of his seven years of team control. The lack of certainty — both in terms of cost and availability — was unfulfilling, especially following years of easy accounting for the White Sox rotation, but it was the best possible course. Now the White Sox and Rodón have to confront the second-least satisfying conclusion to all of it.

The least satisfying conclusion would be the end of his White Sox career, but he’d still theoretically be around for 2021. The White Sox just wouldn’t be able to count on him being any shape to contribute for meaningful lengths of time whenever he is back. This combination of upside for the price with a war-torn health record basically puts him in the Nate Jones Zone, and perhaps there’s some value to knowing that in May 2019 instead of May 2020. That’s about the only value to be found right now.

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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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Man . . .


I can’t see that ‘man…’ in use without immediately thinking of Oh, Hello.

karkovice squad

Fangraphs had an interesting study of TJS incidence in its Community Research section.

The TL;DR is Big Boys who throw hard are correlated with high risk. Rodon is a bigger boy even than their threshold and he threw really hard.

ETA: counterintuitively, the twiggy, hard-throwing Sale actually ends up the less risky pitcher.


Soooo, now they sign James Shields?


2014 Draft and WAR
3. Rodon (6.8)
7. Nola (16.2)
8. Freeland (11.9)
10. Conforto (10.4)
13. Trea Turner (10.9
25. Matt Chapman (13.4)


Delete this =[


I guess in all fairness you can point out the two guys ahead of him don’t play anymore and there were plenty of others in between Chapman and Rodon that aren’t good.

karkovice squad

The problem is we know the Sox have trouble with player development. So there’s little reason to think making a different choice gives them a better outcome.


It’s pretty hard to cast any blame here though, Rodon was a no-brainer at their spot when they picked, I don’t think there’s a team in baseball that wouldn’t have taken him there other than for “being really really cheap” reasons (the “what if” is “what if the Marlins weren’t so cheap and had taken Rodon ahead of the Sox” as basically everyone had the Sox taking Nola in that case if I remember correctly)

lil jimmy

Also, he’s done better than the two who went before him.


His arm betrayed him, but passing on Rodon at 3 would have and should have been absolutely clowned at the time.


And sadly enough if he never threw another pitch for the White Sox, he would still be one of the better first round picks we’ve have over the last 20ish or so years. 


I remember there was a bit of talk of the Sox taking Nola under slot. At the time I would have been really mad at them for going back to their low ceiling college arm strategy.

lil jimmy

If Rodon was gone, Nola would have been the pick.


I remember reading the mock drafts back in ’14 and seeing that most thought if the Sox didn’t get Rodon they would pick Nola. I was very frustrated because he didn’t have the flashy resume, and appeared from reports to be another high floor guy. He has definitely been better than advertised.


Nola had a better college career than Rodon. He was a beast at LSU.

karkovice squad

The short version of the story:
Rodon’s stuff was better and so was his ceiling. Nola had better command and was the more polished pitcher.

The Sox didn’t develop Rodon’s change, paired him with catchers who cost him strikes, and couldn’t keep him healthy.

The Phillies managed not to fuck up what Nola brought to the table.


If it is indeed TJS, any chance they try and move him to the pen?

His big time Velocity has been getting lower and lower with ever year. And ever since August ish of last year, the MLB really seemed to figure out how Rodon was using that Slider. I dont have the numbers but it seems he was getting less swinging strikes and more balls on those sliders inside and out of the zone on righties.

In the bullpen, he can try to preserve his health, and his slider would be a lot more devastating when seen way less often.

karkovice squad

It’s a myth that just being in the bullpen is better for preserving health. It depends on use.

It’s easy to pile abuse on relievers because they’re max effort and get used without enough time to recover.


But they would be relying on him less out of the pen so his risk would be mitigated. Since it’s his walk year I think he will be in the pen next year ifs it TJS


You can’t necessarily ding the Sox for Rodon getting hurt as injuries happen.  However this is just another example of what a complete failure this off-season was. Their half assed attempts to reinforce the rotation have failed and now we’re relying again on Dylan Covey and Manny Bañuelos somehow pull a rabbit out of a hat. 

One of the other benefits of getting Harper aside from the obvious financial reasons is that it actually increases their outfield prospect depth. It’s a lot easier to tap into that depth to patch holes elsewhere when RF is locked in for 13 years.

Their ineptitude has made their margin for error so little that they can’t absorb setbacks like these without pushing their contention window further and further back. 


This is pretty much why I’m just rooting for individual players on this squad to do well (no one likes being dour all the time), but have given up on the team as a whole to do well – the Sox compound their bad luck with front office/ownership indifference.


Yup. When I miss games I find myself looking at Moncada’s line first, then the score.


I usually check Zack Collins’ line first.

Then Moncada and Anderson in some order.

Then McCann hoping he can keep it up long enough to get something of value in a trade.

Then, after actively avoiding Engel and Alonso’s lines, I check the score.


this team has no future, let alone Rodon……


Damn, when the immortal Time Travel man says we have no future you know he really knows it to be true. Who should I root for besides Sox if I want to back a future champ? Brewers?

lil jimmy

what if this is a dual reality?

White Sox 2064 World Champs. Book it.


I think you are looking at rodon being out this year and all of next if he requires TJS… at which point I hope the sox approach him about his last arb year 2021, and attach it with a 2022 team option. Give him a few guaranteed bucks short term, to gain a possible year of control later.

Such a disappointment thus far, but I agree with the general consensus of the board at the time of the draft Rodon was a no brainer after he fell to 3… what the guys behind him do are more a reflection of those teams scouting and development simply being better then ours.


If this situation ends up with the least satisfying conclusion we can take some cold comfort in the odd fact that his first and last games for the Sox came during double-headers. That certainly can’t happen very often.


A whole bunch of us were at that first start as well, given it was the SSS Methup that year


Boy do I remember that well. A poor drubbing in the first game by the reds accentuated by Putnam coming out of the BP to try to handle a 2 men on jam only to give up a 3 run homer on the first pitch, and then bipolarly Rodon’s starting debut where I recall he did really well and ended in a nice win where the fireworks smoke made an eerie mist over the then Cell on a cold night… ah memories…

I really bought into the 80 grade slider hype for Rodon. This is just devastating to see. I was really hoping he’d be our true ace.


Man, when his slider was on, it was a joy to watch. Not Sale-level slider, but man he could make hitters look goofy. Really hope this isn’t the end of the road for him, but I don’t expect to ever see him pitch meaningful innings for the Sox again.



As Cirensica


lil jimmy

On top of that our “Sylder” turned into a “Josh”.

Patrick Nolan

I think that when Dan Bernstein tried to talk about one of Josh’s articles on the radio and had sort of condescendingly stumbled over the username, that was the beginning of the end of “slydernelson”.

Josh may be able to correct me on this.


2020 rotation:

That’s a very young, unproven group, albeit with some upside. Lambert and Flores should be waiting in the wings by then, but I hope neither of them (nor Manny Banny) would preclude the Sox from trying to acquire a quality arm. 

Boy, a 3-year deal for Mr. Keuchel would look pretty good right about now. It’s not as if we don’t have the money to spend. 


I was against signing Keuchel in the offseason, but if Rodon does indeed need TJS and there’s a hole in the 2020 rotation then it’s definitely worth exploring. MLBTR predicted 4 years, 80 million… I wonder if he’d take something like 3 years, 50 million.

Rodon plus the flurry of extensions prior to the season makes something like this more interesting for the Sox, I think.


After the draft I think there could be a few teams trying to sign Keuchel on the cheap, which will likely lead to his price going back up.


That’s probably true, and I’d guess at this point that’s what Keuchel is holding out for. I have no clue what kind of offers he’s received, but I still think something around 3 years, $55 million would be enticing and probably get it done. I doubt he’ll beat that even post-draft. 

As Cirensica

Banuelos is 28, but you ‘ve got the unproven part right


I am holding out hope the Gerrit Cole reaches FA this offseason.


So we can offer $50 million less than whatever contract he accepts?


C’mon now, the Sox learned their lessen. It will be $40 million less.


Several of the more analytically inclined teams in desperate need of pitching stayed far away from Keuchal. I believe for good reason.
There should be better options this offseason or at next year’s trade deadline.


I think they stayed away because Keuchel wants a lot more money than he’s worth. He still is a sold MLB pitcher. He wants to get paid like the #2-3 guy he used to be. He’s pretty inconsistent and is more likely a #4 type guy moving forward. Had a lower K% and GB% last year than typical of him. He did give up less homers than before but if that rises again…would not be ideal. 


I’d be shocked if Kopech doesn’t get some rehab games in the minors after not pitching so long. Especially if his velocity is down.


New Pipeline mock has Sox bypassing Vaughn for Abrams.

3. White Sox: C.J. Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity Catholic HS (Roswell, Ga.)

Chicago has taken college hitters with its first pick in the last three Drafts, leading to the thought that it will extend the streak to four with Vaughn. But the White Sox have plenty of corner bats and could use some up-the-middle players, which could lead them to Abrams, one of the best athletes and hitters in the high school crop.

Josh Nelson



The repeated citing of a “top tier of 4 players” is the most interesting thing in that mock, IMO.
2 days ago Kiley claimed 1-3 was a lock (Sox take Vaughn)
Betting this is deliberately off, so that they can increase clicks by doing several updates before draft day.

lil jimmy

Fangraphs and MLB go their own ways.


Yes. MLB will do a new mock every week, while Fangraphs will only do one if they have new info to pass along.
Wouldn’t you agree that Fangraphs is more plugged-in to what scouts and FO’s are thinking?

lil jimmy

FA has exceeded anything they done before.
That said, I was ready to discount MLB because they dragged their asses till now. Still the new 100 is solid work.


Sounds good to me, but, from what I recall, MLBPipeline mixes things up for the sake of not writing the same list every week. And they’ll say things like “if this was the final mock, I wouldn’t mock this player here.”

lil jimmy

Some times, the two of them will choose a different player, so they can showcase different reasoning. That said ” up-the-middle players, “is a team need.
That’s why I have joined the Shea Langeliers band wagon. He’s playing really well. It’s not like we have our catcher of the future.


I really doubt Shea will be there at 45.

Besides, Yasmani Grandal is our catcher of the next 4 years.

lil jimmy

I see Shea at #9 , so he’s moving back to where he was preseason( pre Hamate injury.)Picking up steam.


Lodolo getting hit hard again tonight.


Just watch the Sox sign Yasmani to a mega deal.