Will suspensions net Carlos Rodon a start?


CHICAGO – The benefactor from Friday’s fight between the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox, if there can be one, could end up being White Sox rookie pitcher Carlos Rodon.

With Jeff Samardzija and Chris Sale suspended for five games each, the White Sox could need a spot starter in the near future, with Rodon a possibility to take that role for a day.

As of now, though, the White Sox need to find out what happens since Samardzija and Sale have both appealed their suspsnsions. Both are eligible to pitch while they appeal and both are scheduled to start at Baltimore next week.

“Certainly Carlos is stretched out and does have the ability to start should he be needed,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “At the same time we need to balance that against keeping him on the current program [a long-man relief role], as well as some of the other potential alternatives we have within the system to make a spot start should we get to that point.

“So it is a possibility, but not one we are ready to commit to just at this time.”

But because reliever Matt Albers injured a finger on his pitching hand in Friday’s fight and is headed to the 15-day disabled list, Rodon could end up staying in his role to help bolster the bullpen.

Scott Carroll, who made 19 starts for the White Sox last year, is presently at Triple-A Charlotte and could be a candidate to pick up a game down the road in the rotation if needed. Complicating a potential Carroll promotion is the fact he is no longer on the 40-man roster.

Sale and Samardzija both expressed regret for their roles in Friday’s fight with the Kansas City Royals. Sale had added remorse after approaching the Royals' clubhouse following the on-field fight.

Although both Sale and Samardzija appealed their discipline, appeals are not always a sign that players feel they should not have been punished at all. In fact all six players suspended from both teams will appeal, a process that allows a review to make sure the punishment – both in fines and suspension days – fit the crime.

As for Sale’s visit to the Royals’ clubhouse, and his argument with manager Robin Ventura last season following an incident in Detroit, Hahn does not believe the team’s staff ace has temper issues.

“No, part of what makes these guys good is the competitive fire,” Hahn said. “Part of what makes a guy a front-end starter is that fight, that passion and the desire to excel between the lines. Certainly that’s part of their makeup and sometimes that carries over outside of the lines.

“As they continue in their big league careers, and mature, they realize how to ideally keep that between the lines. But in terms of Chris’ makeup or character, anything along those lines, no, there’s absolutely no concern. He has a special makeup and that’s part of what makes him great.”