Chris Sale. Jeff Samardzija. Jose Quintana.
One true ace, a solid 2, a solid 2-3 and one future super star. Mark my words, if Carlos Rodon stays healthy, which we have no reason to believe he won’t, Carlos Rodon will be a grade A ace. He has an arsenal of pitches up there with the best pitchers in all of baseball. He has the pure “shit” to be a Cy Young winner. Right now I would compare his stuff to the second best pitcher in baseball Clayton Kershaw. Similar fastball velo. Devastating slider. Similar builds. It’s just pitcher A doesn’t walk people and pitcher B can struggle with command. Once he finds it, the sky is the limit. Backing Sale up with Carlos Rodon is gonna win the Sox a lot of series.
With all of that said, Rodon being promoted is a good news/bad news type deal. First I’ll start with the bad news.
1. He still has to refine a third pitch, which is why he started the season in Charlotte aka he was on the Kris Bryant plan. By all accounts his change is coming along nicely and will be an effective big league pitch once he finds a comfort, rhythm and release for it. With that said, it’s still a major work in progress. But don’t forget – Chris Sale didn’t have a change as he broke into The Show, and now it is his out pitch. Like Rodon, Sale was fastball/ slider. Who better for Rodon to learn the art of throwing a change up than Christopher Sale? Nobody.
2. Fastball command is still not always there. He tends to have a weak front side, drops his glove and flies open which leads him to leave his fastballs high and out to a righty. Combine this with the ridiculous movement he already had on his fastball and you’re gonna see a lot of walks at first.
3. High mileage on his arm. Apparently the coaches at NC State overthrew him WAY too much. Fuck them. But, he’s already in his prime or close to it. Silver linings.
Now the good news:
1. Carlos Rodon has a slider that grades out, as we speak, as an 80 pitch. Meaning it is world class right now. Like at this moment it is one of the best sliders in baseball. A true wipeout pitch he can throw in any count.
2. His fastball sits from 92-97 and as I mentioned has a ton of movement that will be devastating on left handed hitters. Broken bat city. It grades out as a 65-70 right now and when he harnesses its command, it will be a well above average pitch. This is where we hand him over to Coop and let him work his magic.
3. He’s seasoned. He was figured to be the most pro ready arm in last June’s draft, as he had already spent four years at NC State and played for the Team USA Nationals. He also possesses a bulldog “fuck you” attitude. Think Jake Peavy without the unnecessary theatrics. He expects victory. A true warrior in the mound.
Shark was shaky his first 7-8 innings, but has been flat out awesome in his last 10-12. Chris Sale has been Chris Sale. Quintana has sucked, but I’m not worried in the least about him. You add Carlos Rodon to this rotation and it is the best in the AL Central. There is no arguing that. It’s not the homer in me speaking. Cut whatever dead weight you want from the rotation in Danks or Noesi and you have a nice little 1-4 that can compete with anyone. Very exciting.
Rodon is initially starting in the pen, but the Sox do not have an off day until May 4th, so if it were my guess, he’s only providing depth there for now and after their next off day he will be inserted into the rotation. There’s $65 million reasons why Danks probably isn’t leaving the rotation, so Noesi better dominate his next start or he can kiss his time on the south side good bye.
It’s gonna take a bit for Rodon to take off but when he does he’ll be a household name. That’s a promise from WSD to you.
I won’t address the sox stupidity on the bases and dumb managerial decisions right now, I’ll wait until after this next home stand to judge them. This is Carlos Rodon’s day.