White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon

Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Ostrowski: Do Sox Have An Ace In Organization?

Carlos Rodon is having the best season of his young career.

Joe Ostrowski
July 26, 2018 - 9:16 am
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(670 The Score) While searching for Michael Kopech’s latest box score with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, some may have missed White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon taking a no-hitter two outs into the sixth inning out in Anaheim on Tuesday. Rodon has now pitched into the eighth inning in back-to-back starts and thrown 104-plus pitches in three consecutive outings.

Rodon’s last two starts both rank in the top five of his career, according to game score. Yes, he’s been on the disabled list way too often, but he has still compiled 71 career starts.

"We were talking about on the bench how he looks like he’s feeling pretty good," manager Rick Renteria told reporters of Rodon's performance Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Rodon should feel fantastic. In eight starts, he has a 3.38 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and .194 batting average against -- all numbers that pace at the best of his young career. 

Rodon's line drive rate is a minuscule 13.3 percent, down 8 percent from his career average. For context, Mets left-hander Steven Matz’s 15.2-percent line drive rate is the lowest among all qualified starting pitchers.

Rodon clearly has the tools to be a front-end starter in the big leagues. It’s just a matter of availability after missing time due to left shoulder surgery and biceps and wrist injuries over the last three seasons.

After Rodon was selected with the third overall pick in 2014 -- 30 picks ahead of Kopech -- he was placed on the Chris Sale fast track to the big leagues. Get to the bullpen quick, then you’ll be placed in the rotation.

Just because Rodon didn’t break through in the last two years doesn’t mean he isn’t vital to this rebuild. In a way, he's similar to starting shortstop Tim Anderson. Both are 25, still not in their prime and potential building blocks. If Rodon is a No. 1 starter, it'd be a crucial step for the rebuilding organization, and he’ll be a key part of the White Sox's core.

Front office types love to throw around the phrase "sustained success." It must be a prerequisite before being named a president or general manager.

Pitchers get hurt a lot, but the best way to stay in the playoff picture year after year is with dependable pitching. The six division leaders all have an ace, and teams like the Astros and Indians have multiple No. 1 starters.

It’s fun to dream about the next big thing. When will Kopech and Eloy Jimenez get called up and which one will be an All-Star first?

The play has been ugly at 35th and Shields for much of the season, but here’s a reminder that there’s development that matters a great deal happening in the big leagues too.

Joe Ostrowski co-hosts Hit & Run with Barry Rozner on Sundays at 9 a.m. and is 670 The Score's weekday morning update anchor. Here's a link to his weekly sports betting podcast. Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeO670.​