White Sox

Scott Boras on board with White Sox plan for Carlos Rodon

scott-boras-sox-insider-0420.png

Scott Boras on board with White Sox plan for Carlos Rodon

Scott Boras thinks the White Sox were lucky Carlos Rodon was available when they picked third in last June’s amateur draft. But the super agent also feels pretty fortunate for his client, who was promoted to the majors on Monday, to have been picked by the White Sox, a franchise well versed in the development of young pitchers.

Whereas Boras made headlines in March with his belief that Bryant -- who was promoted by the Cubs on Friday -- deserved to start the season in the majors, he sees his two clients in different stages. Not only did Bryant, the No. 2 pick in the 2013 draft, already have parts of two seasons in the minors to Rodon’s two months, but pitchers and position players are akin to apples and oranges. Boras likes that the White Sox intend to go slow with Rodon’s workload this season.

“The Bryant situation and Carlos’ situation are very different because of the innings issue,” Boras said. “Because of the idea that frankly, you really want this process to get a foundation to it for a pitcher rather than building -- because there’s no repetition in amateur baseball that prepares you for what major league pitchers have to go through. Its part of what they have to go through isn’t about ability, it’s about truly building to durability.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

By promoting Rodon and starting him in the bullpen, the White Sox get an extremely talented arm and can control his workload at the same time. The White Sox could move Rodon into the rotation at some point this season, but for now they plan to use him in a variety of bullpen roles while giving him more time to work with pitching coach Don Cooper. General manager Rick Hahn considers this the final step in Rodon’s development and it’s a tested method previously used with Chris Sale in 2010-11 and Mark Buehrle in 2000.

“We are dealing with a scarce resource,” Hahn said. “I don’t think anyone could reasonably expect any pitcher a year out of college to make 32 starts and average six innings a start. It will be some level below that in terms of what we will be able to get out of this guy physically and developmentally. A way to maximize that is to start him out in the bullpen, get him some work here, get his feet wet, get him acclimated to the big leagues, everything that goes about being a successful big league pitcher and then make that transition to the rotation when the time is right.”

[MORE: Rodon doesn't want Bryant hype]

Boras is on board with the plan. Rodon has to make the leap from pitching once a week in college to once every five days in the majors. He has a strong lower body, the kind that appears to be built for endurance. But Boras doesn’t just want to see his client thrown into the fire.

“Still the process is one where I don’t in any way think that too many innings too young, being a big leaguer, right there right now and throwing 180 innings your first year of pro ball, I don’t find too many careers where athletes do that that have worked out too well as far longevity goes,” Boras said. “So bringing him along slowly and monitoring his innings and doing things like that, I think it’s a very good plan.”

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

rodon.jpg
USA TODAY

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

On Wednesday morning, ESPN.com released their rankings of all 30 MLB team's starting rotations. The rankings were a nod to the current structure of the rotation, as well as how they were likely to perform in the future. And that is why the Chicago White Sox being ranked dead last in the league is somewhat alarming. 

Overall, the White Sox rotation is 28th in WHIP and 29th in strikeouts. 

Lucas Giolito is currently the team leader in wins with four, but his ERA sits at an unsightly 7.19. James Shields has been decent in spurts, but a general lack of run support has limited his effectiveness. Carlos Rodon has been a mixed bag since returning, but was able to reach the seventh inning in his last start. This is encouraging considering that he hadn't made it that far in any of his previous three starts. And Reynaldo Lopez continues to rack up quality starts—much like Shields—but has two wins to show for it. 

Veteran players like closing pitcher Joakim Soria and Shields are sure to be hot names on the trade market, and that could go a long way towards bringing in additional prospects to build up the White Sox farm system, and lead to a much improved rotation in the future.

So the White Sox obviously deserve to be ranked lowly until they can groom their minor league starter prospects into MLB-ready staff members, something that looks like it could take longer than originally expected. Flame-throwing top prospect Michael Kopech is still amassing high strikeouts numbers, but he is walking over six batters per outing, showing an obvious issue with control. 

White Sox fans can take their mind off of ESPN ranking the team's rotation 30th in the league by turning their attention to Eloy Jimenez. He has been absolutely crushing it in Double-A Birmingham, and will likely be making his debut with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights on Saturday. That game will be live on NBC Sports Chicago. So sit back, relax and look forward to the future, wherever it may take White Sox faithful. 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

avig.gif
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

In Part 2 of "Ask Us Anything" we answer the following questions: Who will be the biggest free agent the White Sox sign this off-season? What are the chances they trade Avi Garcia before the deadline? What's your assessment so far of Luis Robert?  Who's on your all-time busted prospect list? Is Omar Vizquel the next White Sox manager? Would the 1994 White Sox have won the World Series if there wasn't a strike?  What's the long term plan at third base? These questions and many more on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

If you missed Part 1 of 'Ask Us Anything', you can listen to the full episode here 

Listen to the full Part 2 of 'Ask Us Anything' at this link or in the embedded player below: