On Thursday afternoon, Rick Hahn announced that LHP Carlos Rodon underwent arthroscopic surgery for his throwing shoulder, shutting down the potential ace for 6-8 months. This is the latest in injury problems for Rodón, who was plagued by them all year. In this season, Rodón had a 2-5 record with a 4.15 ERA and 76 strikeouts in just 69.1 innings pitched. These numbers, however, don’t describe the flashes of brilliance Rodón had been showing throughout the season.
What does the surgery mean for Rodón?
I was a little worried about Rodón’s workload early on in games after he returned. On at least two occasions, Ricky sent Carlos back out on the bump to start another inning with over 100 pitches, something I wouldn’t advise for someone who had battled injuries all season. However, I do understand the idea behind testing and really stretching his arm out over the extra 10-15 pitches. However, this surgery is the best-case scenario for Rodón: no bicep injury, and he avoided the one word pitchers never want to hear: “labrum.” This surgery can hopefully help clean up any lingering problems in Rodón’s shoulder. Obviously, no, this doesn’t mean he’s a bust or that his career is over. Young flamethrowers and arm problems are basically synonymous in this age of pitchers, but the important part is that the White Sox and Rodón believe that a full recovery will occur. Phew.
Should the White Sox alter their draft strategy?
I haven’t written much about the White Sox’ drafting strategy – or at least what I think it should be – but I would REALLY prefer that they don’t take a pitcher in the next draft. Assuming they draft anywhere from 1st-4th, Florida Gator RHP Brady Singer could be on the table. Many have suggested the White Sox should sign this kid. I would rather the White Sox stay away from a big arm – guys like Brady Aiken and Mark Appel come to mind – and just draft the best position player available regardless of his position.
Regardless of all of this, I don’t feel the White Sox need to alter their draft strategy. Doing so would be a knee-jerk reaction to an injury to a player they believe will be making a full recovery. Granted, I don’t know what their draft strategy is in the first place, but if I were in the decision room, I wouldn’t be suggesting a major change in direction towards drafting a stud pitcher if this wasn’t the plan currently being considered.
The season is coming to an end, White Sox fans. Enjoy the end of this crazy 2017 season!!