White Sox

Carlos Rodon strikes out nine in Triple-A season debut

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Carlos Rodon strikes out nine in Triple-A season debut

While the White Sox picked up their first win of the season Saturday, Carlos Rodon made his first minor league start -- and had an awfully strong showing.

Rodon, pitching for Triple-A Charlotte, struck out nine in five innings against Norfolk, Baltimore's Triple-A affiliate. The left-hander and 2014 No. 3 overall pick allowed two runs (one earned) over those five innings with two walks, one hit batter and one wild pitch. He threw 87 pitches, 56 for strikes.

[MORE: Carlos Rodon: 'I'm going to be up there eventually']

Of the balls Norfolk hitters put into play, five were ground balls, two were fly balls and one was a line drive.

The Charlotte Observer's Seth Lakso has Rodon's pitch selection:

And a radar gun reading:

[MORE: Robin Ventura wants to see Carlos Rodon be a complete product]

Over 24 1/3 minor league innings last year -- 12 of which were spent with Triple-A Charlotte -- Rodon posted a 2.96 ERA with 38 strikeouts, 13 walks and no home runs allowed.

The 22-year-old had a 3.06 ERA with 21 strikeouts, five walks and one home run allowed over 17 2/3 Cactus League innings this spring.

Lucas Giolito’s top 10 games in a White Sox uniform

Lucas Giolito’s top 10 games in a White Sox uniform

Lucas Giolito had a transformative 2019, going from the pitcher with the worst statistics in baseball to the ace of the White Sox staff.

He’s only been on the South Side for a little more than two seasons, but he’s already turned in some impressive performances, many of them, unsurprisingly, from last season.

Click here to see Giolito's 10 best outings in a White Sox uniform.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

A.J. Reed, who played 14 games with the White Sox in 2019, retired

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USA TODAY

A.J. Reed, who played 14 games with the White Sox in 2019, retired

A.J. Reed, the one-time slugging prospect who made his way to the White Sox last season, retired earlier this month.

The news went unnoticed by many, though there it is on the International League's transactions page: Reed, a second-round draft pick in 2014, retired on March 4. He's 26 years old.

The White Sox picked Reed up on a waiver claim midway through last season, taking a flier on a guy who had no trouble racking up home runs in the minor leagues. He hit 34 of them playing at two levels of the Houston Astros organization in 2015, 34 more at Triple-A in 2017 and another 28 at Triple-A in 2018.

But Reed could never make it happen at the major league level, and that includes in the 49 plate appearances he got in just 14 games with the White Sox in 2019. He picked up only six hits, including one home run, and struck out a whopping 21 times.

Reed did manage a highlight in a White Sox uniform. He moved over from first base and pitched in relief during the ninth inning of an 11-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins, retiring all three batters he faced.

He played his final game with the White Sox on Aug. 1 and spent the remainder of the season in Triple-A Charlotte.

In the midst of another rebuilding season, the White Sox were in position to take that sort of a low-risk gamble on Reed and see if they could help him discover something he couldn't at the big league level in Houston. Fans weren't happy watching him struggle at the plate, but that's life in the middle of a rebuild.

Thanks to breakout seasons from so many of their young core players and a busy offseason of big-name veteran additions, the White Sox don't figure to be in such a position again for the foreseeable future.

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