When the White Sox promoted Carlos Rodon to the majors in April, general manager Rick Hahn referred to the 22-year-old left-hander’s innings as a “scarce resource.” Four months later, the organization doesn’t think it’s burned through those innings and hasn’t trained an eye toward shutting down 2014’s No. 3 overall draft pick in September.
Rodon threw 10 innings in Triple-A and has made 19 starts and three relief appearances in the majors this year, combining to throw 122 2/3 innings. If he continues to take the mound every fifth game through the end of the season, he’d make seven more starts. And if he averages 5 2/3 innings in those seven starts — that’s his season average per start — he’ll throw 39 2/3 more innings, giving him 162 1/3 innings for the season.
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The White Sox never publicly set an innings limit on Rodon, though about 150 for a first-year starter sounds about right. Manager Robin Ventura said the team is comfortable with the workload he’s currently taken on in Year 1 as a major leaguer.
“What he’s done, he’s had some games where we’ve taken him out early, he’s had some games where we’ve left him out there and he’s been able to overcome some stuff,” Ventura said. “Innings-wise, he’s good. I would like to see him keep going. As far as his first year and how he’s getting thought it, it’s been great.”
Ventura said the White Sox could consider skipping one of Rodon’s scheduled starts next month, as they did in May and June. Rosters expand to 40 on Tuesday, so Ventura won’t lack for options to replace Rodon — like right-hander Erik Johnson, who has a 2.37 ERA in 132 2/3 innings with Triple-A Charlotte — if they decide to pull back his innings a little bit.
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But with an eye trained toward 2016 and Rodon’s future, Ventura said he’d still like to see Rodon start every fifth game down the stretch if possible. It doesn’t hurt that Rodon’s come on strong lately — over his last four starts, the left-hander has a 1.61 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 28 innings.
“He’s a young guy, he continues to improve, and I think all of this is putting it in the bank for the future,” Ventura said, “and him having something to rely on and revert back to experiences that will make him better in the end.”