White Sox starting pitcher Carlos Rodon left Monday night’s game against the Brewers after just two innings due to left shoulder soreness. Rodon pitched better compared to his first start of the season last week in Cleveland, but his velocity was lower, which was noticeable. The former third overall selection in the 2014 MLB Draft has struggled with significant arm injuries throughout his career
Chicago has been patient with Rodon due to his massive upside, as when healthy, he has the potential to be a top of the rotation pitcher. Despite the injuries that have hampered his career from taking off, Rodon has shown flashes of greatness. Last season, the left-handed pitcher was the team’s Opening Day starter and pitched mostly well in seven starts before being lost for the remainder of the season due to an injury that required Tommy John surgery.
The surgery was supposed to sideline Rodon for the first half of the 2020 season, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic postponing the start of the season, he missed no games. With pitcher Michael Kopech, who was also returning from Tommy John surgery, Rodon appeared to be fully healthy and became the team’s fifth starter. In his start last week against the Indians, the lefty-hander struggled in allowing five runs over three and two-thirds innings pitched.
Although it appeared that Rodon was healthy, many have noted the decline in his fastball velocity. Where he has average anywhere from 94 to 97 on his fastball, Chicago’s former first-round selection topped out at 93 during his start against Cleveland. Monday night against the Brewers, Rodon again topped out in the low 90s but even recorded a fastball in the high 80s, which is usually a sign of an oncoming arm injury. If the early exit leads to time on the injured list, the White Sox could either call up Clayton Richard or Dane Dunning to fill the spot in the rotation.