Carlos Rodon was the third overall pick in June’s draft and the former North Carolina State ace was in rookie-ball as of two weeks ago, but Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports that “there’s a better-than-average chance” the White Sox will promote the 21-year-old left-hander to the majors in September.
However, when asked about that possibility manger Robin Ventura replied:
I’m not even going down that far. We are concerned about what’s going on right here. If they say he’s pitching well enough to come up, then the more the merrier at this point.
Rodon is currently at Single-A and has thrown a grand total of nine professional innings, so “pitching well enough to come up” to Chicago isn’t really a factor yet. However, as Merkin notes the White Sox called up fellow first-round pick/college ace/southpaw Chris Sale shortly after he was drafted in 2010 and used him as a late-inning reliever.
For much of the year Rodon was considered the favorite to go No. 1 overall and he ended up signing for $6.6 million, which is significantly above the slot-recommend amount for the No. 3 pick.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.