The Chicago White Sox have continued to struggle thus far into the season. They sit in last place in the AL Central division with a 24-28 record and 7.5 games out of first behind the ever-surprising Minnesota Twins. But there have been a few glimmers of optimism for this team. One of the biggest things they have going for them is the progression of rookie lefty Carlos Rodon. In just his sixth start of his young career, the rookie set a new career-high in strikeouts across six innings of work, only to see his team fall in extra innings by a score of 2-1 to the Texas Rangers.
Despite the loss, Rodon showed plenty of good things. He got off to a rocky start when he let the first three Texas batters reach in the first inning and quickly put the White Sox behind early by a 1-0 score. He quickly settled down and struck out the side in order to get out of the first without allowing any further damage. Throughout the rest of the game, the number-three pick in the 2014 MLB Draft continued to bob and weave through the Texas lineup as he allowed men to get into scoring position but continually made the pitches he needed to make in order to get out of the jams. He finished on the night with a career-high 10 strikeouts through six innings. He became the youngest White Sox pitcher to have a double-digit strikeout game since Jason Bere in 1993 when he struck out 12 batters.
He has quickly shot through the minors and is already pitching in the big leagues. The South Siders’ rotation is currently led by left-handed ace Chris Sale. Rodon projects to become a lethal top-of-the-rotation pitcher and could help form a deadly front trio with Sale, veteran Jeff Samardzija and himself for years to come. As the season wears on, it will be important to watch how Rodon grows as a pitcher and continues to improve.