The White Sox started out great against Red Sox starter David Price: two runs in the first inning after Tim Anderson, Jose Rondon, and Jose Abreu all got on. Then, the exciting part of the game happened. Carlos Rodon made his 2018 season debut. Rodon, who had been sidelined all offseason, got the ball against a very strong Boston lineup.
That’s all that really mattered this game. Was his outing perfect? Not by any means. But the White Sox aren’t looking for a perfect outing from Rodon right now. His start was very encouraging. His command is still trying to catch up, but that can be expected in a young player like Rodon’s season debut after a long path of recovery post-injury. The positives? He had seven strikeouts. He was able to work out of jams. All four runs that the Red Sox scored weren’t off him, but really, the team might’ve won 2-0 or 2-1 if some errors weren’t made.
Carlos talked about being energetic in his season debut last year, and how it led to control issues. The same thing may have happened this year, with wild pitches and some trouble locating pitches coming up early for him in his outing.
In the first inning for Rodon, a leadoff walk didn’t look great. However, he was able to get the next batter to ground out into what should’ve been a double play, but ended up being an error on shortstop Tim Anderson. Then, the next batter also grounded to Anderson, who made a bad throw to second basemen Yoan Moncada, to avoid yet another double play. The error allowed Andrew Benintendi to score in a situation the Carlos could’ve already been out of. Instead, the Red Sox scored a run and cut the deficit to one. Rodon was able to work out of jam after jam.
His final line: 5IP, 6H, 4R, 2ER, 2BB, and 7 K’s. He threw 97 pitches, with 63 of them for strikes. It’s not the prettiest of games for him, but it was a very positive start for a first game back, and against an offensive powerhouse like the Red Sox.
Rodon will need some more time to get used to throwing his slider, a pitch that he throws about a fourth of the time. The slider had its moments today, but he wasn’t super confident in it, and therefore had to rely on some of his other pitches more heavily. As the season goes on, look for his typical nasty slider to be used more and more as he becomes more comfortable and confident with it. As he gets more comfortable, he will be able to use it to keep hitters off balance earlier in the count and really control the count.
Rodon’s next start will likely be at home on June 16th against the Clevland Indians, with Hector Santiago sliding back into the bullpen with Rodon’s return.
Follow Griffin on Twitter: @G_Meadors05–Feature Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer/AP