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.
The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.
Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.
While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.