Carlos Rodon makes debut for Class AAA Charlotte
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Sun-Times Media August 19, 2014 10:38PM
Updated: August 20, 2014 2:21AM
Carlos Rodon’s Class AAA debut for the Charlotte Knights was something of a mixed bag Tuesday. The left-hander out of North Carolina State pitched three innings, allowing one run, one hit and three walks against the Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A club. He struck out three and exited after 55 pitches.
The plan for Rodon, who was promoted from Class A Winston-Salem after a successful stint, was to pitch four innings or 60 pitches in his first start.
The Sox haven’t said whether Rodon will be put on the 40-man roster and brought up in September, but indications are they hope to if he progresses over his next starts.
Rodon was drafted third overall in June and is the only player from the draft to reach Triple-A. He struck out 15 and allowed two earned runs in 92/3 innings at Winston-Salem.
Gillaspie willing to try outfield
The Sox have discussed the possibility of seeing what left-handed-hitting third baseman Conor Gillaspie can do in left field, perhaps not as a full-time answer but for the purpose of making the 25-man roster as flexible as possible next season. Gillaspie, whose .309 average through Monday ranked eighth in the American League, also can play first base and would be an option at designated hitter as the Sox look for a replacement for Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko.
A heavy-hitting, high-priced free agent such as Victor Martinez would be an appealing target to slide between Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia in the lineup, but using more than a couple of options at DH if the roster is flexible enough is also a possibility, general manager Rick Hahn has said.
Manager Robin Ventura covets a roster that would enable him to move players around.
Gillaspie said the Sox haven’t talked to him about the outfield but said he’d be more than happy to give it a go
“I will,’’ he said. “I’m sure I could get the hang of it. If not this year, then for sure in the spring. Whatever it is they want me to do. If it means I can stay here and play, I’ll do whatever they ask.’’
Not that Gillaspie needs to be pushed out of the way at third. Top third-base prospect Matt Davidson, acquired for Addison Reed last offseason, is batting .206 with 19 home runs and 53 RBI, so he’s no sure thing to be ready next year.
Through Monday, the Sox’ bullpen owned a 9.70 ERA in August, raising its season mark from 3.81 to 4.49. The pen led the AL with 187 walks, but control in the strike zone is the biggest issue, Ventura said.
“Being too much in the middle of the plate more than anything,’’ Ventura said.
“They’re frustrated like everybody else. You have to continue to work at it and fight through it. It’s an unforgiving position. The bullpen is a glaring position. You come in, you get everybody out, it’s great, and if you don’t, it’s sitting there for everyone else to see.’’
After the third inning, Ken Harrelson was the latest to accept the ice-bucket challenge for ALS. Wearing a shower cap and T-shirt, the Sox broadcaster challenged Ray Fosse, Dan Plesac and Herm Schneider before getting soaked by mascot Southpaw and doing the ‘‘Hawk Walk.’’