My concerns are growing once again after Rodon was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday with "shoulder stiffness" just minutes before he was to pitch against the Cleveland Indians.
Mike Pelfrey (3-11) made an emergency start and gave up four runs before he recorded an out. The Sox went on to lose, 11-2, but really, who cares about that at this point? Pelfrey's doing all he can, which isn't much.
The story of the night was Rodon. He's an important piece to the Sox's rebuilding puzzle, and he's headed to the MRI machine Friday to get his shoulder checked out.
This is not good news. I'd rather a pitcher have elbow trouble than shoulder trouble, because velocity comes from the shoulder. It seems as though most pitchers make it back from elbow surgeries, whereas shoulder surgeries tend to ruin careers (John Danks, Johan Santana, Mark Prior).
Hopefully, whatever is troubling Rodon will not require him to go under the knife. But whatever this is, it's nagging, it's been present all season, and it was never completely healed, regardless of what the Sox said publicly about the matter.
Rodon's season likely is done. The Sox are 31 games below .500, and I can't think of a single good reason to send him to the mound again in 2017. He'll have made only 12 starts this season, and he'll finish 2-5 with a 4.15 ERA.
He had hit his stride as of late -- his ERA was 3.00 in his past seven outings -- so it's really frustrating to see him sidelined again.
I'm not concerned about Rodon's stuff at this point. From my perspective, his three-pitch mix is right where it should be. He can dominate a good lineup on a given day. But at some point, he needs to provide some consistency and show he can make 30 starts in a season and get close to 200 innings.
He has not done that, and until he does, we can't look at him as a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, even though that's what all Sox fans want him to become.