White Sox promote LHP Rodon from minors
CHICAGO (AP) — Carlos Rodon was watching funny YouTube videos with his girlfriend and another buddy when he got the call from the Chicago White Sox.
The wait is over for one of baseball’s top pitching prospects.
Rodon was promoted from Triple-A Charlotte on Monday, completing a steady climb from No. 3 overall pick in last year’s draft to the majors.
The White Sox are hoping he can follow the same career path as ace Chris Sale, another tough left-hander who was a high selection in the draft and began his major league career in the bullpen before turning into one of baseball’s best starting pitchers.
“We are going to learn from our history of being able to do that with Chris and Mark Buehrle before him in terms of getting him to the rotation at some point in the not too distant future,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “To answer that next question, there is no specific date. There is no date on anyone’s calendar when he’s going to be in the rotation. We just know ultimately he’s going to wind up there.”
Rodon, 22, looked good in spring training, but was sent down on April 1. Rodon, who played his college ball at North Carolina State, then went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in two starts with the Knights before the White Sox decided it was time to join the big league club.
“It’s a dream come true,” he said.
Rodon’s promotion comes right on the heels of the first game for Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, who made his major league debut on Friday. Rodon and Bryant played together on Team USA, and the pitcher said he would prefer stay “under the radar” compared to the hype surrounding the slugger’s arrival in the big leagues.
After Rodon got the call from assistant general manager Buddy Bell, he said the first call he made was to his parents.
“I called my mom and my dad answered, so he was the first person I told in my immediate family,” said Rodon, who watched Chicago rally for a 4-3 victory over Cleveland on Monday night. “He said, “Oh wow, that’s great.” My dad’s a pretty even-keeled guy. He’s pretty calm just like me, he doesn’t blow things up. My mom was excited, they’ll be here today.”
Chicago also reinstated right-hander Jake Petricka from the 15-day disabled list before the win over the Tribe. Javy Guerra was placed on the DL with shoulder inflammation, and right-hander Kyle Drabek was designated for assignment. The move for Guerra is retroactive to April 13.
The 26-year-old Petricka went 1-6 with a 2.96 ERA and 14 saves in 67 appearances last year. He had been sidelined by a right forearm strain.
“It was just more of a mental challenge than the physical because the structure and everything is fine in the arm. It was just a matter of getting it feeling good again,” Petricka said. “It was a tough little bad, but it’s over and now it’s have a good long season.”
Rodon, who has a plus fastball, a nasty slider and an improving changeup, could be used in a couple different ways with the White Sox. He is stretched out from his time with Charlotte, so he could pitch multiple innings. He also has the stuff to get a lefty out in a tight spot.
“Right now, probably looking at the middle of the game if a spot comes in that looks conducive for him to come in,” manager Robin Ventura said. “You also want to put him in a good spot, too. You’re not going to just bring him in and throw him in a spot that wouldn’t be good for him.”
Rodon, who made one relief appearance in spring training, said he is up for whatever. Wearing No. 55 was fine with him, too.
“I’ll take whatever I can get,” he said. “I’m glad to be here.”
The White Sox felt the same way.
“We’re glad to have him,” Ventura said. “He’s a nice addition to have out there.”
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap