With baseball past the July 31sttrade deadline, it is the ideal time to discuss two storylines to keep an eye on, throughout the rest of this season for the Chicago White Six.
One major line is the continued success of Carlos Rodon. Since Rodon did not make his 2018 debut until June 9th, there isn’t quite as much data to go on than most pitchers around the league. However, Rodon has still performed well in the ten starts he made, as his record currently sits at 3-3 with an ERA of 2.94. Rodon also has shown the ability to eat up innings, which can be seen by his six quality starts.
If you want to go even further Rodon is throwing Magnum Starts 40% of the time he starts a game, which means 66.7% of his quality starts are of the Magnum variety. If he can keep the latter type of start ratio up, there is a very good chance Rodon could be a top of the rotation hurler.
His strikeout rate may be down (7.4/9 innings) but so is his walk rate (3.6/9). He’s given up just 44 hits in 64 innings. Best of all, at just 25 years of age, Rodon is on his way to becoming a stable piece of the starting rotation for a soon-to-be successful White Sox team.
Can Daniel Palka come close to the 30 home run plateau?
While it is highly unlikely that Palka reaches 30 long balls, he has seventeen homers in only 81 games played. Now, Palka’s inability to make consistent contact could come into play as the season moves along, as his 94 strikeouts in 261 official at-bats (35.6% of the time) may be exploited once pitchers see him for the second and third times.
So are 25 homers a reasonable number? That would seem to be an appropriate total, and for an offseason waiver pickup Palka may end up becoming a valuable member of the Sox moving forward. The jury will remain out on the former Twin until he can trim down the strikeouts, which could make him a liability unless he can launch about 40 long balls per season.
Before we wrap up, I could bring up the topic of Jose Abreu staying on the right path offensively (average dropped to .250 but now at.269) or can Matt Davidson can hit twenty homers for the second consecutive year (16 right now), however,r those are secondary issues, especially when you consider that Abreu has had very little support around him while half of Davidson’s homers are against lowly Kansas City. So outside of when I have talked about ad nauseam, there is only so much to go over for a team headed towards the 100-loss mark.
All in all, the next seven weeks should provide excitement in terms of the clubs’ youth but nothing when speaking of a pennant chase. That might be a couple of years away, but hopefully, once those begin we can enjoy August and September for an extended period of time. And if the South Side is lucky, those late months can turn into October glory.