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Carlos Rodon
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Baseball Daily Dose

Carlos Rodón, the Electric Lefty

by Janice Scurio
Updated On: April 27, 2022, 6:54 am ET

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The electric lefty, the superb southpaw, lovable Los, ridiculously remarkable Rodon. Not enough laudable nicknames can be bestowed upon Giants pitcher Carlos Rodon – whether it’s him on the mound, or Rodón’s famed alter ego, Hard Karl. On Tuesday night, Rodón authored yet another brilliant performance in San Francisco, pitching six strong innings to notch a win against the Oakland Athletics. 

He allowed just one run off three hits in this marvelous 104 pitch performance. The A’s ran his pitch count early with plenty of two strike foul balls as Rodon had been worked up to 73 pitches through four innings. 

The crown jewel in Tuesday’s performance, however, were Rodón’s nine strikeouts. Rodón doesn’t get many strikeouts with the batter caught looking, as he’s more known for whiffs specifically from his wipeout slider. Rodón’s slider was good for eight whiffs, contributing to a 39% CSW on that pitch, and 29% on his arsenal overall. He’s also known to see spikes in velocity during high pitch counts late innings (that’s when Hard Karl makes an appearance). Rodón, indeed, reached a speed of 98.5 MPH on his 92nd pitch of the evening. 

The 29-year-old southpaw may be the most dominant pitcher in baseball right now. Through four starts, he's got a 1.17 ERA, 0.83 WHIP. With 38 as of Tuesday, he leads the major leagues in strikeouts, and is striking out a stratospheric 15 batters per 9 innings. He’s also now recorded at least eight strikeouts in four consecutive starts. His 38 strikeouts are also the most through the first four starts of a Giants season since Tim Lincecum registered 35 strikeouts in 2009. 

Rodón was dominant through most of last season with the Chicago White Sox – it was also his first all-star season, where he finished fifth in American League Cy Young voting. He’s certainly carried that momentum to 2022.

Pitchers with an EDGE

Kevin Gausman vs. Red Sox

6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 9 K, 0 BB

What a gem for the righthander, who experienced upticks in velocities on his entire arsenal. The fastball sat at 95 MPH - he averages at 94 MPH. Gausman also racked up an incredible 19 swings-and-misses, contributing to an absolutely ethereal 39% CSW (called strikes plus whiffs). Gausman also set a Blue Jays franchise record: 91 plate appearances without a walk to start the year.

Logan Gilbert vs. Rays

5 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 7 K, 3 BB

The young righty hit a top speed of 98.3 MPH on his four seamer in this start, good for eight called strikes, and also experienced higher velocities on his secondaries. He now has a 0.40 ERA in 22 ⅓ innings this year – and a 1.78 ERA in 55 2/3 innings since the beginning of September 2021. 

Marcus Stroman vs Braves

6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 K, 0 BB

Stroman came into this start with a 2.10 ERA in six career starts against the Braves – the odds looked good. However, the Braves lineup made plenty of hard contact, including a Travis Demeritte home run – but Stroman was relatively able to limit the damage but was still handed the loss. Though I’m reluctant to call this a bounceback start, this was Stroman’s first quality start with the Cubs – gotta start somewhere.

Patrick Sandoval vs. Guardians

7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K

Sandoval has not allowed an earned run in 3 starts this year; in 15 innings pitched, he’s also racked up an admirable 20 strikeouts. His changeup is regarded as one of the best in the league – he’ll certainly be a pitcher to watch for a while. 

Hitters with an EDGE

Willy Adames vs. Pirates

4-for-5, 2 R, 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI

What a day at the plate for Adames. Two home runs were the marquee in this performance: a first inning bomb off starter Mitch Keller, and a sixth inning encore off Heath Hembree. Adames is also the second shortstop in Brewers franchise history to have seven RBI in a game. 

Anthony Rizzo vs. Orioles

3-for-4, 4 R, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB

Rizzo homered not once, not twice, but thrice in an evening that ended in the first baseman being the lone MLB home run leader. Rizzo victimized Jordan Lyles twice, and rang Alexander Wells for an encore in the eighth inning. He now has a 1.114 OPS in 73 plate appearances.

Bobby Witt, Jr. vs. White Sox

2-for-5, 1 R, 2B, RBI

Yet another multi-hit effort by the rookie third baseman – he’s now batting 7-for-18 (.389) in his last five games, and now has a five-game hit streak going. He singled in a run, and later turned a pitch around after a seven-pitch at-bat for a double.

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Closing Time

Kenley Jansen vs. Cubs (5th Save)

1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K

In this one inning, 14-pitch save, the veteran closer registered two punchouts. Jansen is now 5-for-5 in save opportunities. This was Kenley Jansen’s 22nd straight converted save, tying him with Josh Hader for the majors’ longest active streak.

Josh Hader vs. Pirates (9th Save)

1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Hader’s ninth save was a short one - he was brought in just to face Tucupita Marcano, who worked Hader to a full count before Marcano was called out on a sinker. 

Anthony Bender vs. Nationals (3rd Save)

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Bender threw a whopping seven pitches - six of them for strikes, equating to three quick groundouts to slam the door on the Nats. He’s now converted three out of four possible save opportunities.

Edwin Diaz vs. Cardinals (3rd Save)

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K

Diaz started this save appearance by throwing six straight balls, three of them very inside – but after a mound visit from James McCann and the Mets infielders, he was able to lock things down and earn his third save of the year. 

Raisel Iglesias vs. Guardians (4th Save)

2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2K

Mark Melancon vs. Dodgers (3rd Save)

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Priority Pickup

J.P. Crawford - SS, Seattle Mariners - Rostered in 50% of Yahoo Leagues

The Mariners lineup seems to have the luminosity of a double-ended flaming baton twirling perpetually – and Crawford is absolutely igniting it further at the plate. He’s got two homers, seven RBI, six walks drawn and eight hits in his last seven games – and carries an impressive 1.045 OPS and a steal, in 68 plate appearances. He got off to a solid start to the season, and appears to carry that great momentum well into the fourth week of MLB action. 

Wednesday’s Matchup of the Day

Carlos Carrasco (1-0, 1.47 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 20 K) vs. Steven Matz (2-1, 5.27 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 17K) 

The Mets continue to roll as one of baseball’s top offenses - and in support of Carlos Carrasco, who’s looked absolutely fantastic in his past few starts. Carrasco earned his first win of the year in his last start - though he's pitched well all three times out this year so far. He's sporting a 1.47 ERA and a 20/2 K/BB ratio in 18 1/3 innings. His Cardinals counterpart, however, faces a more difficult task - Matz earned a victory against the Reds in his last outing while limiting damage from seven singles. Whether his luck will continue against a difficult Mets lineup remains to be seen. 

American League Quick Hits

Nate Pearson (illness) is scheduled to throw another live batting practice session this week. … Jose Altuve (hamstring) fielded ground balls again on Monday at Globe Life Field in Texas. … Tigers activated LHP Andrew Chafin from the 10-day injured list. … Luis Robert (groin) is expected to return to the White Sox' lineup Wednesday afternoon against the Royals. … Liam Hendriks is day-to-day with back spasms. … White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Tuesday that Eloy Jiménez (hamstring) underwent surgery to repair a torn hamstring tendon behind his right knee and is still expected to miss 6-8 weeks. … Orioles placed RHP Chris Ellis on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation. … Rays manager Kevin Cash said he expects Mike Zunino (biceps) to avoid the IL. … Adalberto Mondesi is being evaluated for left knee discomfort.

National League Quick Hits

LaMonte Wade Jr. (knee) is expected to play five innings Tuesday in a minor league rehab game at Triple-A Sacramento. … Taijuan Walker (shoulder) is scheduled to return Saturday against the Phillies. … Braves placed OF Eddie Rosario on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to April 25, with blurred vision and swelling in the right retina. … Dee Strange-Gordon (illness) will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Rochester. … Pirates placed LHP Anthony Banda on the 10-day injured list with a viral (non-COVID) illness. … Brewers placed C Víctor Caratini on the COVID-19 injured list. … Reds activated 2B Jonathan India from the 10-day injured list. … Reds manager David Bell said Tuesday that Luis Castillo (shoulder) will make two additional minor league rehab starts before rejoining Cincinnati's rotation. … Pirates placed OF Bryan Reynolds on the COVID-19 injured list…Pirates placed INF/OF Cole Tucker on the COVID-19 injured list. … Kris Bryant was scratched from the Rockies' lineup on Tuesday due to back soreness. … Giants placed RHP Zack Littell on the 10-day injured list. … Jordan Hicks is being evaluated for a right wrist contusion. … Bryce Harper (elbow) said he did not feel great after playing catch in the outfield on Tuesday.

Janice Scurio

Janice Scurio (@scuriiosa) is a writer that has appeared on various baseball podcasts and blogs about the White Sox over at South Side Sox.