GLENDALE, Ariz. – Over the past half-decade, the White Sox franchise has been one in transition. From competing immediately to rebuilding, there has been plenty of change for the team, from philosophy to players.
This has been reflected in their opening day starters, who’ve changed every season since 2015. That’s a trend that continued on Monday.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) March 18, 2019
Manager Rick Renteria named Carlos Rodon as his starter for the team’s opening game against the Royals on Thursday, March 28 in Kansas City. It’s the first for the lefty in his career, and marks the fifth different White Sox pitcher in as many years to start opening day.
James Shields had the honor last season with Jose Quintana taking the mound first in 2017. Ace Chris Sale opened things up in his last year with the franchise in 2016 with newly acquired Jeff Samardzija getting the honor in his first and only year with the White Sox in 2015. In each case, the pitcher that started opening day that season was not back on the roster the next campaign.
Sale was the last pitcher to start back-to-back openers for the team, doing so in 2013 and 2014.
The third overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, Rodon has shown flashes of potential while also dealing with a number of injuries during his still young White Sox career. Making his debut in 2015, Rodon is 26-29 with a 4.01 ERA with 473 strikeouts in 86 career games. The previous two seasons were marred by injury for Rodon, who was limited to just 12 games in 2017 before undergoing shoulder surgery in September of that season.
He missed most of the first half of the season of 2018, making his debut on June 9th against the Red Sox. He finished 6-8 in 20 starts with a 4.18 ERA with 90 strikeouts compared to 55 walks.