Carlos Rodon might be certainly one of greatest in recreation if he stays wholesome, pitching coach says


Carlos Rodon’s try to affix Johnny “No-Hit” Vander Meer will come Monday morning. That’s when he’s scheduled for his subsequent begin, towards the Crimson Sox in Boston in a ten:10 a.m. begin from Fenway Park.

Vander Meer is the one pitcher to throw consecutive no-hitters. He did it with the Reds in 1938 towards the Boston Bees and Brooklyn Dodgers. And whereas the chances of Rodon pulling off that feat are astronomical, the expectations for a pitcher who needed to win a job because the White Sox’ No. 5 starter in spring coaching are starting to soar.

A no-hitter and near-perfect recreation will try this.

“He might be actually good,” pitching coach Ethan Katz stated Thursday after Rodon got here inside two outs of an ideal recreation whereas pitching the twentieth no-hitter in Sox historical past towards the Indians on Wednesday evening. “He might be among the best pitchers within the American League, or baseball, if he stays wholesome.”

That was the expectation when Rodon was drafted third total by the Sox in 2014. Accidents ruined his possibilities of assembly it. However all through a wholesome spring and in two begins with out permitting a run, Rodon seems like a discount for the $3 million he was signed for within the offseason.

He’s the primary pitcher in AL historical past to win his first two begins of a season whereas permitting two hits or fewer.

“It’s a testomony to him and the work he’s put in,” stated Katz, who tweaked Rodon’s supply after he was employed throughout the offseason. “He’s had a number of adversity. He battled. I’m actually excited to see, as this yr goes on, what he’s in a position to do as a result of clearly final evening was unbelievable. However he’s been throwing the ball rather well for the reason that first day of spring coaching.”

Rodon, recognized for a premium slider, didn’t strike out a batter his first time via the Indians’ lineup. He relied extra on his changeup early, combined in some sliders and commanded his fastball, which improved as the sport wore on. Such diversification — he threw 57 four-seam fastballs, 28 sliders, 27 changeups and three curveballs.

He touched 98 mph within the ninth inning, reaching velocity numbers he hasn’t seen in years.

“His route towards dwelling plate is considerably higher to the place he has the flexibility to be within the strike zone persistently in addition to with the ability to form his secondary stuff out and in of the zone the place he needs it,” Katz stated.

“He made a number of supply adjustments, however I additionally suppose the one factor for him is he’s feeling good on a regular basis.”

Rodon is the sixth pitcher in MLB historical past to throw a no-hitter with the one baserunner reaching on a success by pitch (former Sox right-hander Joe Horlen is on that record). And he’s the primary pitcher to throw a no-hitter inside two years of getting Tommy John surgical procedure.

Rodon, who additionally had shoulder surgical procedure, had his Tommy John process on Might 15, 2019.

“There’s a great record of folks that go into this,” Rodon stated. “I’m blessed to have the ability to nonetheless play this recreation. I used to be non-tendered. Lots of people had been out on me. I do know that is simply the second begin of the yr, and hopefully there’s extra to return. It’s a particular second. Lots of people ought to be proud as a result of they helped me do that.”

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