CHICAGO – Any thought that first-round pick Carlos Rodon would start one of the games in Saturday’s doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers was squashed by general manager Rick Hahn.
Asked point blank if Rodon is under consideration for a Saturday start, Hahn closed his eyes, smiled and let out an exasperated chuckle.
“He’s thrown like 20 innings as a pro; let the kid go,” Hahn said. “I understand the thought behind the question, but we simply can’t lose sight of the fact that he is in the infancy of his professional career and what he is doing right now, while impressive, is part of his development.
“Any decision about his future, where his next start will or won’t be, is based strictly on the long-term view of getting him to Chicago ultimately to stay and contribute at the front end of our rotation for a long time. We aren’t going to rush that process.”
The 21-year-old Rodon has made two abbreviated starts for Triple-A Charlotte over the past week and combined to give up two runs on two hits over seven innings. He continues to build up his pitch count after a long layoff between the end of his college season at North Carolina State and the start of his pro career in late July.
Rumors have run rampant that despite Hahn’s desire to take a more deliberate path with Rodon, the left-hander still will be up with the White Sox when rosters expand Sept. 1, two days after this weekend's doubleheader. Combine that concept with the fact that Rodon’s next scheduled turn in Charlotte’s rotation is Saturday, the idea that he could start this weekend isn’t completely out of nowhere.
As for whether or not Rodon actually will be a member of the White Sox at the end of the current homestand, Hahn wasn’t about to reveal anything.
“I think he’s extremely well-grounded,” Hahn said. “I think he knows his next start is coming for Charlotte and then we will have a conversation after that. He’s not looking past what is immediately ahead of him. It’s important that we don’t lose track of the fact that this kid has thrown about 22 or so innings as a professional.
“He’s already made three stops with our affiliates within a month of being a pro. Although he is having success, he has moved very quickly. That makes his success even more impressive. It has been a very fine year for him.”
Charlotte’s final game of the season in Sept. 1.