My White Sox thoughts on Carlos Rodon and Wellington Castillo

In a previous post I noted if the stars aligned the Chicago White Sox rotation could look like this in July of 2018:

-Lucas Giolito

-Michael Kopech

-Reynaldo Lopez

-Alec Hansen

-Carson Fulmer

A buddy of mine asked, “Where is Carlos Rodon?” and I feel compelled to answer.

Carlos Rodon had surgery on his shoulder in late September of this year. The White Sox have announced he will be out 6-8 months. I am always leery of estimated times of return for pitchers coming back from surgery, so 6-8 months may be optimistic. We’ll see.

We’ve danced this dance before, however.   When Rodon worked separately from other pitchers in spring training last February, it was concerning. According to the Chicago Tribune, during spring training 2017, Rodon said he’d be limited in Cactus League starts. In the same Tribune article, Ricky Renteria said, “we’re really going to control the number of bullets he throws, especially early.”

Rodon started the 2017 season on the disabled list and it seemed like the White Sox had been less than forthright in regard to his health. Based on Rodon’s limited workload in spring training, it seemed like they knew something we didn’t. Maybe I’m wrong, but the year didn’t get much better as far as getting Rodon on the bump.

He didn’t pitch at all in April or May, and he pitched 5 innings in June. He finished off the year pitching 4 innings in the month of September. His line looked like this at the end of the 2017 season, 2-5 with a 4.15 earned run average in 69.1 innings pitched. The ideal for a starting pitcher nowadays is 200 innings. That’s a workhorse.

I don’t know if the White Sox can count on Carlos Rodon this year, hence my ideal rotation full of youngsters, minus Rodon.

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What do you make of the Wellington Castillo signing? I do NOT think it is an indication that Rick Hahn is speeding up the White Sox competitive timeline. That would run contrary to everything he has said and done since he moved Chris Sale to the Red Sox. ALERT WHITE SOX FANS: Hahn is not going to trade for Manny Machado this week! There is a better chance of Babe Ruth being my personal, in-house barista. More vanilla Babe, this latte isn’t sweet enough.

Here is my theory. Although I don’t think Jose Abreu will be moved this year or next year, Hahn isn’t certain he’ll keep him. His mantra has continued to be we’ll hold on to our valuable assets until a team makes us a Godfather offer. So it’s unlikely he’ll be moved-multiple sources say the Sox asking price is enormous (they’re probably asking for three prospects, two within the MLB Top 100; in other words, a Sale-Eaton-Quintana type return). Yet, it’s possible.

So if Abreu is traded, my prediction is the Sox will move 2016 number 1 draft pick (10th overall) Zack Collins to first base and allow other Sox catching prospects (Evan Skoug and Seby Zavala) to mature while Castillo holds down the fort on the big club. Collins is the big left-handed bat the Sox love, and I’d imagine getting him to the majors relatively quickly upon Abreu’s departure would be a priority.

Do not let the Castillo signing fool you like it temporarily fooled me. He is a relatively inexpensive contingency plan. He will be the only White Sox free agent signing this winter that makes 7.5 million dollars a year. Bargain basement signings await.

Random Baseball Observation: The Derek Jeter as star world champion turns celebrity face of ownership experiment has started rather poorly. Question: How has Michael Jordan running the show for the Charlotte Hornets turned out (10-16 at this writing, right in front of the 6-20 Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference)?

Next: If all goes well, what could Opening Day 2019 look like?

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