March 1 UPDATE: White Sox top prospect Carlos Rodon will be starting the team’s third Cactus League game against the Padres this Friday, stepping in for the injured Chris Sale. The lefty addressed the news casually, “That’s cool,” he said earlier today, “Same mindset. Just like any other game, it’s baseball. That’s the way I look at it. It should be fun. I’ll get to work on stuff in Cactus League against better hitters. It will be fun to see how I do against them.” Rodon was not originally scheduled to start a Cactus League game.
News broke Saturday that lefty Chris Sale, ace of the Chicago White Sox, injured his foot. The injury occurred due to an accident in Sale’s home.
According to White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, Sale was unloading items from his truck and landed awkwardly when he stepped off the back. “It was really just a freak accident,” said Sale. “I’ve done it a million times and this time it didn’t workout so well.”
The 25 year old is expected to miss three weeks, meaning a mid-March return, and his availability to start the season is in doubt. After going 12-4, posting a 2.17 ERA, and finishing third in Cy Young voting in 2014, it was the expectation for Sale to take the ball for the season opener for the White Sox. With the injury however, Sale may not be available at that time, as a March 21 return would leave Sale only sixteen days before opening day against the Kansas City Royals. Sale’s absence for that game would mean Jeff Samadzija kicks the season off, which isn’t the worst thing in the world.
If fans are looking for a silver lining however, it might be this: with Sale’s injury, the White Sox may be inclined to break camp with lefty Carlos Rodon on the active roster. Rodon, the #3 overall pick in June’s amateur draft, and now MLB’s #14 ranked prospect overall, spent time in the rookie league, high-A, and AAA last year, putting a 2.91 ERA over 24 1/3 innings pitched. It was believed that Rodon would join the White Sox in August or September as a reliever, as Mark Buehrle and Chris Sale did. However, the White Sox elected to be patient with the then 21 year old, and look towards the upcoming season for the talented lefty’s debut. Now with Sale’s injury, Rodon may see his time come sooner rather than later.