With just four games separating the Chicago White Sox and their first playoff action in 12 years, the club made what could very well be their final roster change of the regular season in recalling left-handed pitchers Carlos Rodon and Aaron Bummer on Thursday afternoon.
To make room for Rodon and Bummer on the 40-man roster, relievers Steve Cishek and Ross Detwiler were designated for assignment.
Cishek — who signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the White Sox this offseason — was a major disappointment on the Southside of town after posting some impressive numbers in two years on the other side of town.
In 22 appearances with the White Sox the 34-year-old right-hander allowed 12 runs on 21 hits (four home runs) and nine walks in just 20 innings of work, likely ending his tenure with the club with a 5.40 ERA.
Detwiler was much better in 2020 (3.20 ERA/19.1 IP) than he was for the White Sox in 2019 when he posted a 6.59 ERA in 69.2 innings of work as a starter and reliever, but the “Big Boss Ross” was never going to play an impact role in the playoffs so today’s DFA makes nothing but sense for the team’s October aspirations.
Carlos Rodon, 27, made just two starts in 2020 before heading back to a place all-to-familiar for him, the Injured List after being removed from start No. 2 in Milwaukee. Rodon has long struggled to stay healthy, and is now just one season from being eligible for free-agency having not proved much of anything other than what we knew about him coming out of college.
We all know that Rodon has the stuff — and lord knows how many “hopefully Rodon can stay healthy this time,” stories — but when will he ever put it all together? He has an opportunity now to play a key role in the White Sox bullpen down the stretch and into October according to White Sox skipper, Ricky Renteria.
“Relief at some point, that’s how we’ll transition him in…we’ve got 5 days left, he’s healthy now, we’re going to find out how he does fit…hopefully we see he’s truly healthy and if his stuff can play in that relief role. It’ll be new for him.”
“[Relief is] probably the best measuring stick we can use. People might have angst about it, but we’re going to give him a look and see what’s happening.”
Bummer on the other hand, is less of a risk/experiment than Rodon. Before hitting the IL last month, Bummer posted a 1.23 ERA in seven appearances, allowing just one earned run on four hits while striking out 12 in 7.1 innings of work.
“Bummer is a guy you’ll see 1st moving forward in the next few days. They have to pitch, we need to see them…so as long as they’re healthy and capable. Their mental approach is the most important thing, a matter of whether they command strike zone”
Despite the White Sox scuffling (1-5) since clinching their first playoff berth in 12 years last Thursday against the Minnesota Twins, the team still controls its own fate in terms of the American League Central crown entering play today, and trails Minnesota by just a half-game.
The return of Aaron Bummer will be a huge boost to a bullpen that needs some more options — evident by the back-to-back walk-off home runs by Cleveland against Jose Ruiz and Gio Gonzalez in the bottom of the 10th and 9th innings respectively — and if Rodon can contribute in his first action out of the bullpen since his 2015 rookie season, the White Sox will feel much more comfortable next week.
Featured Photo Credit: Tony Dejak/AP