Since the end of the White Sox season 2020, I keep saying that this team needs to limit its uncertainties, because together we are looking forward to 2021. The 26 seats on the list are all valuable and should be considered as such. This team is no longer able to see what it has in terms of development. The yardstick is the name of the division, period. The composition of the register must reflect this reality and the management of the organisation must have maximum confidence in the new director, Tony La Russa.
The unplanned deadline of 2. December is the next milestone in the MLB’s slow-motion race, the MLB’s off-season. The White Sox Register currently has 40 people representing the candidates who are not participating, but there are two people I think we should focus on.
Simply put: Carlos Rodon and Reynaldo Lopez should have no more seats in this organization. The White Sox have given them more than enough time to prove they deserve to be part of the next competitive White Sox team, and both have shown that they can’t count now.
Rodon and Lopez both came to the White Sox as if they’d blown up their prospects, but they went their separate ways. Rodon was third in the overall selection for the North Carolina MLB 2014 project. He would be the third left-hander to join Chris Sal and Jose Quintana, who had already had success at the 35th Painting Festival.
Rodon was handed over to the Majors in April 2015, just one year after he was selected as a team. Originally he worked out of the wood cell and quickly switched to rotation to complete his development, but he never succeeded. The inconsistent control and mastery of his fastball was Rodon’s trademark. This simple fact has limited his ability to fully exploit the Erase Slider unless he changes his approach during his shortened 2019 season before he needs Tommy John’s operation.
Photo : ABC sports
Rodon’s problems were complicated by his inability to develop a coherent third note to complete his repertoire. These issues, which are important for a novice pitcher, have become the catalyst for a surprisingly low and mediocre career so far. With an IP coverage of 536.2, 92 starts the South Sider, Rodon has made the step to 4.14 ERA and 4.26 FIP, which is good for 7.0 fWAR. This is, to say the least, the kind of result you would expect from a three-point dive.
Reynaldo Lopez’s road to the South Side was radically different. He joined the team that the Russian Federation sent Adam Eaton in December 2016 as second match to the national league in Washington. By the time the exchange ended, Lopez had already reached the mayors shortly after finishing 44 rounds in the capital. Some promising analysts even believed, at the time of the deal, that Lopez was a real headliner, believing that he would exceed Lucas Diolito’s potential.
Despite a certain spark of dominance and the first half of the 2018 season, which was largely foggy, Lopez failed to create his promising Top 100 pedigree. So far he has played in 92 matches (87 starts) between the national teams and the six whites, collecting 490,2 PI, 4,77 ERA and 4,89 FIP.
The hole Lopez is suffering from has gone crazy on many fronts. During his tenure, he did his best to get through four innings, but was challenged several times by former director Rick Renteria. Every time we were told that he would bite and fix the problem, only to see his ugly face again from behind in a few minutes.
Photo : Stephen Senn/AP
The most unpleasant thing for observers of Lopez was his total inability to pass the ends with consistency, despite the fact that he led the competition in the average pitching speed in the high-speed race. Much has been written about the low rotation speed, which would be one of the factors contributing to this problem. Moreover, Lopez’s inability to develop coherent secondary propositions that are not too different from Rodon’s, a major criminal in his career, became a dead end.
The two twenty-somethings had ample opportunity to show that they were part of a competitive White Sox rotation. Again, none of them could grab the bull by the horns and cling to the spot.
In 2021, this team will not have the luxury of seeing if Rodon’s elbow is fully recovered after Tommy John’s operation in 2019 or if Lopez can find a magical adaptation that reveals his hidden potential. The time when there were young players in this organization is over. If you don’t want to make a significant contribution to raising this team to 90 victories, you simply can’t keep a place on the list.
It is quite possible that Carlos Rodon or Reynaldo López will turn to another organization and find a way to reach the untapped potential that was always thought to be there. But the 2021 White Sox can’t afford to give them a better chance. The stakes are too high for this team to allow two mediocre players to take valuable positions in the rankings at best.
It will probably be very difficult for that organization to take the pill to give up General Choice Number 3 and an important part of an important company, but good organizations know when it’s time to say goodbye to a player who hasn’t lived up to his potential. The brave men of Atlanta were the masters of this company in the nineties, and that is one of the reasons why they won 14 consecutive titles in the division. Did you miss a few players? Sure, but most of the time they were right. This is really the key to success for organizations, they know when it’s time to move on from a bad perspective.
For the White Sox to succeed in their goal of sustainable success in the 2020s, they must be prepared to make hard choices. Personally, I don’t think it should be hard to get away from Carlos Rodon or Reynaldo Lopez. There are better quality, better tested products in the field of agents and free trade. The White Sox are expected to step up their rotation in 2021 and increase their confidence in Tony La Russa. This has to be done without Rodon and Lopez.