It's pretty difficult to imagine anyone having a better week than Carlos Rodón did last week.
So it was kind of a no-brainer when he was announced as the American League Player of the Week on Monday.
Rodón threw the 20th no-hitter in White Sox history last Wednesday, shutting down the Cleveland Indians in a spectacular performance just two days after he was scratched from a start with an upset stomach.
Rodón took a perfect game into the ninth inning. With one out, a wayward pitch hit Cleveland catcher Roberto Pérez in the foot, ending the bid for perfection. But shortly thereafter, Rodón finished off the no-no.
It was a terrific moment for the left-hander, who's been through a lot in his career. He was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft and rushed to the big leagues. But inconsistent performance paired with horrible injury luck, significant arm injuries keeping him off the field, and he was unable to live up to the high expectations of his draft position. He was non-tendered by the White Sox in early December before rejoining the team on a one-year deal.
What he could provide this season was a mystery when he arrived at camp in February, but after working with new pitching coach Ethan Katz, Rodón had an excellent spring, winning the No. 5 spot in the rotation running away. He's been remarkable in his first two starts of the regular season, allowing the White Sox to envision just how deep and just how far their starting rotation could take them in the later stages of the season as they chase a championship in 2021.
Rodón was rightfully thrilled with his achievement last week. But his focus isn't on one start but rather a season's worth of them as he looks to put the questions about his injuries and durability to rest and be a reliable option for a contending White Sox team.
"I just say I'm blessed," he said last week, "say thank you, thank the baseball gods and move on.
"It's not the last start of the year."