Fantasy Baseball 2018: Carlos Rodon is a sleeper pitcher

The White Sox are in the middle of a rebuild but there are still players worth owning. Starting pitcher Carlos Rodon is a sleeper heading into the 2018 season.

The Chicago White Sox front office did some reevaluating during the 2017 season. As a result, the team traded some of their big names before the deadline with the rumor of more trades to come. Despite that, the team still has some fantasy-relevant players. Pitcher Carlos Rodon is a sleeper next season.

During the 2016 offseason, Rodon suffered from biceps bursitis. He was expected to return mid-May but didn’t make his first start of the 2017 season until July 28. In his first start, he pitched five shutout innings with six strikeouts against the New York Yankees.

He finished the season with a 4.15 ERA, 1.370 WHIP and 2-5 record in 12 starts. Rodon kept his strikeout rate around his career average at 9.9 K/9 but his walk rate was just a bit too high at 4.0 BB/9. He also gave up 12 home runs in 69.1 innings, or a 1.6 HR/9 rate, which would have been sixth-highest among qualified pitchers.

Rodon could possibly miss even more time in his career. Once the season ended, he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder on Sept. 27. This stems back to what held him out for the first few months of the 2017 season.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Rodon needs six to eight months of recovery. The six-month mark puts a return near Opening Day on March 29. If we go with eight months, it gets pushed back to the beginning of June. The last time Rodon was injured, we didn’t see him until after the All-Star break. So, temper your expectations

Rodon looked good in his rookie season, posting a 3.75 ERA, 1.443 WHIP and 9-6 record in 26 games. Things didn’t better the following season as he had a 4.04 ERA, 1.,394 WHIP and 9-10 record in 28 starts. However, the second half proved what he could be, posting a 3.45 ERA and 1.219 WHIP in the second half.

While I wouldn’t reach for Rodon before Round 20, he is still a talented pitcher with upside. If you draft him, you can just stash him on your bench or DL spot until he returns. Chances are, though, you could even pick him up off the waiver wire before he returns.

Rodon hasn’t had the best of luck so far in his early career. He has shown glimpses of what he could be but hasn’t put it together for a full season. I’m hoping he will be 100 percent by Opening Day but also expecting him to miss a month or even more.

I like to use my last few picks on flyers or injured players. I did it with Rodon last year and could see myself doing it again this season.