CHICAGO – One of the biggest injury questions for the White Sox coming into the playoffs is one of the team’s best turnaround stories of 2021.
Carlos Rodon threw a no-hitter, made an All-Star team, and his win over the Royals on May 7th put the White Sox in the lead in the American League Central Division for good. So having the left-handed starter for the playoffs is a major part of the team’s hopes of finishing with their first World Series title since 2005.
But over the last two months, with his history of arm and shoulder injuries, Rodon was limited to just six starts and even went on the IL in August with shoulder fatigue. He went five shutout innings while allowing just one hit in his last outing in a win over the Reds last Wednesday, but there is still concerns of how much Rodon will be able to pitch in the playoffs.
That includes the upcoming series with the Astros in the division series in which Rodon would be a candidate to start the third game after Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito start off the series in Houston. Manager Tony La Russa said will determine his rotation for the start of the rotation on Wednesday, and was optimistic about Rodon on Tuesday.
“He had a nice throw yesterday, looked OK today,” said La Russa when asked for an update on the pitcher. “So far he’s still under consideration. Good sign.”
It is if the White Sox are hoping to have the services of Rodon in the playoffs as much as possible after he went 13-5 with a 2.37 ERA this season. This came after the team decided not to tender a 2021 contract to their 2014 first round pick in December then signed him to a one-year deal in January.
But the team is well aware that Rodon’s 132 2/3 innings are the most he’s had since 2016, with injuries over the last two years leaving him with a combined 42 1/3 innings.
“We remain optimistic that he’s going to be able to contribute over the course of the next month,” said general manager Rick Hahn of Rodon. “Obviously, given the amount of work that he has endured this past season, the jump from the previous years, his strength and comfort and general level of soreness and fatigue is something that we continue to monitor.”