Carlos Rodon is headed to Arizona and is expected to debut for the White Sox early next week.
The team’s first-round pick will be used exclusively out of the bullpen this season, general manager Rick Hahn said Friday.
Rodon, who signed a franchise-record $6.582 million signing bonus last Friday, is headed to Glendale, Ariz. and is expected to throw a bullpen session on Saturday before he sees action in a pair of Arizona Rookie League games this week. The expectation is Rodon — the No. 3 pick in last month’s draft — would then be promoted to Single-A Winston-Salem, where he worked out for the last week, on July 28. But none of the work is expected to be in any role other than as a reliever, Hahn said.
“The first time out this week will be a one-inning stint,” Hahn said. “The second outing maybe two. He's going to work out of the pen. We're not going to use him as a starter this season simply because it's easier to manage his outings and his workload. Again, I've probably shied away from Chris Sale comparisons, but at least from the developmental standpoint, how we handled Chris that first year is similar to how we'll handle Carlos this year.”
A junior at North Carolina State this season, Rodon completed 98 2/3 innings. He also threw a high amount of pitches over his 14 starts, including 381 over three from April 11-25.
But Rodon’s season ended on May 16 and now the White Sox need some time to get him back into pitching shape. So far the White Sox are pleased with their new toy, Hahn said.
“Our doctors were thrilled with the condition he was in,” Hahn said. “The early reports from the first few sidelines he has done in Winston over the past week were very positive. I’m not quite sure what his regiment was over the two months, but he was good to go. He hasn’t thrown a pitch in anger since May 16, so we are not going to rush this thing. It will take a little while to build back that arm strength. Once he gets going, we’ll respond based on how he feels and how he’s performing.”