Carlos Rodon to make first MLB start Saturday

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Jeff Samardzija officially dropped the appeal of his five-game suspension on Wednesday, temporarily opening a spot in the White Sox starting rotation.

And top prospect Carlos Rodon is going to fill it.

Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports that the 22-year-old lefty will make his first major league start on Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Field against the visiting Reds. Rodon was called up from Triple-A Charlotte on April 20 and has been working out of the White Sox bullpen for the past two weeks, boasting a 2.84 ERA and four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.

Rodon, the third overall pick in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft out of North Carolina State University, struck out 51 batters in 34 1/3 minor league frames before the White Sox opted to promote him to the bigs.

He should eventually replace John Danks or Hector Noesi in Chicago’s rotation.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.