The Wolfpacker

September 2017

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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90 ■ THE WOLFPACKER ■ PACK PROS Healthy Again, Carlos Rodon Is Heating Up While Season Winds Down BY RYAN TICE F ormer NC State star pitcher Carlos Rodon started the year off injured and had to work his way back through the mi- nor leagues. His rehabilitation tour even had him back playing against the Triple-A Durham Bulls in late June. Since returning to the majors with the Chicago White Sox, though, he's been good and is still getting better. Despite an overall record of 1-4 with a 4.24 ERA in his first eight starts, he allowed two runs or less in each of his last three outings through Aug. 15. He worked into the seventh inning in each of the three and struck out 24 batters against just two walks over 22 1 ⁄3 innings, although none resulted in a decision. It's a far cry from his season debut June 28, when he lasted just five innings and struck out two while walking six and allowing three runs to cross the plate. He had a pair of double-digit strikeout games earlier this year — but he also walked six in those two contests and lasted just four innings in one. "After a delayed start to the season that saw him miss nearly three months with biceps bursitis, Rodon has been impressive in his past three starts, showing flashes of being an ace," CBS Chicago's Bruce Levine wrote Aug. 11. "… Rodon's quality performances of late have come against top competition in the form of three first-place teams, and they serve as a sign that the White Sox can expect him to lead a young, talented and evolving pitching rotation in the near future." CSNChicago's Dan Hayes noted after his Aug. 10 start that Rodon is hitting "one of the most dominant periods of his career" — at least so far in the majors — evidenced by his 81 straight batters faced without al- lowing a walk, the best stretch yet of his time in the bigs. "I want to be in the top tier … I've still got a way to go to get there," Rodon told His former NCSU teammate, Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner, has had his 2017 campaign go the opposite of the pitcher. He was off to a great start — just barely missing hitting for the cycle in two straight games in April (he was just a triple shy in the second contest), then setting the team record with four steals June 18 and tying it June 27 to take the MLB lead with 32 — but fractured his right wrist when it got hit while batting in a game June 29. He was reportedly getting closer to being able to swing a bat in early August. He also dealt with a hamstring injury earlier in the year and has missed 37 games overall as of Aug. 14. Despite the time on the bench, he boasts a batting average of .279 with seven home runs and 35 steals in 68 games. In the last seven contests before the injury, he was hitting .462. Turner wants to return to the field as quickly as possible, but the most optimistic timeline puts him back in the lineup in late August. The good news is the Nationals (70-46) lead the NL East division by 14 games and are a good bet to make the play- offs, meaning Turner will be able to give the team a boost down the stretch. The only other Wolfpacker currently in the big leagues is Kansas City Roy- als right-handed pitcher Nate Karns, who played the 2007 season in Raleigh before finishing his career at Texas Tech. He was shut down for the season and had a surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in mid-July. He finished the year — his fifth in the bigs — with a 2-2 record and 4.17 ERA in nine appearances. Rodon had a record of 1-4 with a 4.24 ERA in his first eight starts of the season through Aug. 15, but had allowed two runs or less in each of his last three outings. PHOTO BY RON VESELY/COURTESY CHICAGO WHITE SOX

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