Carlos Rodón is on the shelf again. His 23 start of the season was cut short after 69 pitches. Rodón departure from Monday night’s loss came after just three innings of work, leaving Tony La Russa and the Chicago White Sox concerned.
After allowing three runs in the bottom of the third inning he returned to the dugout and complained about shoulder soreness. It was especially frustrating given how good Rodon looked the two innings prior.
“The first two innings, we were all encouraged. He threw the ball well. In the third, he lost command, he was struggling, actually fortunate to leave with three runs.” Manager Tony La Russa said following Monday night’s loss. “He came back in and said he wasn’t right soreness. So we’re concerned.”
Rodón batting injuries are nothing new. After putting up Cy Young worthy numbers and making the All-Star game during the first half of the season, Rodón has dealt with bouts of soreness the entire second half. He even landed on the injured list at one point and has had multiple starts pushed back to give him extra rest. Only six of his starts this season have come on regular days rest.
Throughout his career, he has also dealt with left biceps bursitis, left shoulder inflammation, left shoulder surgery, and Tommy John surgery. This combined with 127 innings thrown this year, which are his highest total since 2016, is enough to a red flag.
This latest injury could not have come at a worse time. The White Sox are tuning up for a playoff run and Rodón has been their second-best starter this season.
Tony La Russa’s knee-jerk reaction did not help ease White Sox fan’s concerns.
“If you ask for a seat of the pants opinion, I don’t see how he’ll pitch next week,” La Russa said. “You prepare for the worst, hope for the best. It’s a tired cliche, but it’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
However, Carlos Rodón did not seem all that concerned. When asked about how his arm felt he responded:
“Yeah, it’s just normal soreness. Nothing crazy.”
Carlos Rodón is no doctor but he knows better than anyone how his arm feels. After hours of going through rehab and pitching, he has a pretty good idea of what his left shoulder can handle.
The team announced on Tuesday afternoon that they are going to do all they can to get Rodon one final start before the end of the regular season. September 29th against the Cincinnatti Reds was the target date.
“We’re going to do some stuff with the idea of getting him ready for the game against Cincinnati,” La Russa told reporters before Tuesday’s game. “Hopefully it’s just normal soreness, and we’ll do a bunch of stuff to get him ready and keep our fingers crossed that he’s good to go.”
That start will be crucial. If there is any hope of Rodón pitching extensively in the postseason he is going to need to prove that he is healthy. Otherwise, we could be seeing a lot more of Reynaldo Lopez, or Dallas Keuchel.
“We’re assuming he can make one of the spot starts, but yesterday was not a good day. So he’s got another shot next Wednesday, so we’ll see if there’s a better result so we can be more optimistic.”
Dominant starting pitching is what got the White Sox to this point. After Monday’s outing, the White Sox have good reason to be concerned about Carlos Rodón and their chances in the playoffs.