Rodon gets back on track with strong start

Rookie left-hander notches solid six innings after rough last outing

Rodon gets back on track with strong start

CHICAGO -- Some rookie pitchers might have been rattled by the rough outing White Sox southpaw Carlos Rodon endured Monday in Pittsburgh, when he allowed seven runs on nine hits over 3 2/3 innings.

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Then again, Rodon is not your average rookie pitcher.

"You just have to forget about it, put it behind you," said Rodon, who improved to 3-1 with six strong innings in Saturday's 3-2 victory over the Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field. "As soon as that game is over, it was tough to put it behind me, but forget about it, have my side, try to get better and then came out and competed today."

"The funny and scary thing is he can get a lot better," said White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers, who caught Rodon Saturday afternoon. "His stuff is that good where he's able to get by with missing some spots here and there. If he can hone in the command, which has gotten a whole lot better, then we'll have two [Chris] Sales."

In fairness to Rodon, who is just 22, comparisons to one of the best pitchers in the game might want to be put on hold until he makes at least 20 career starts. But Rodon was under control against the Rangers, allowing two runs on four hits over six innings, while striking out five and walking three.

Rodon actually mixed in eight changeups, a pitch that remains a burgeoning work in progress, with his 28 sliders among his 102 pitches, per Brooks Baseball. It certainly doesn't hurt for Rodon to follow Sale to the mound in the rotation and chart his pitches, especially factoring in Sale's amazing current run.

"It's fun to watch him pitch," said Rodon of Sale. "I enjoy just being a fan for however long he goes, eight, nine innings, whatever he goes. I just enjoy sitting there watching him pitch. It's real fun, but yeah, you gain some things. You pick up things when he throws to certain guys."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.