The Wolfpacker

September 2018

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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90 ■ THE WOLFPACKER ■ PACK PROS Carlos Rodon Regaining Old Form BY RYAN TICE A year after being limited to just 12 starts and posting a 2-5 record with a 4.15 ERA, Carlos Rodon has battled injuries again. But after starting the season on the dis- abled list and staying there until June 9 with a shoulder injury, Rodon is rounding into shape and regaining the form that made him the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. He took the loss in his 2018 debut June 9, but allowed only two earned runs and struck out seven against two walks in five innings of work. In his fourth start of the season June 24, the 25-year-old southpaw finally got one on the left side of the ledger by throwing eight innings and allowing just two earned runs in a victory versus the Oakland Athletics. He really took off in July, though. The lefty threw 7 1 ⁄3 shutout innings in a 4-0 blank- ing of the Cardinals July 11. He then took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before it was broken up and he was tagged for two runs on two hits in a 4-2 triumph over the Angels July 24. Rodon struck out 15 in 15 innings over those two starts, while allowing a total of just five hits and five walks. In four July starts, the fourth-year pro went 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 28 2 ⁄3 innings. Each appearance saw him pitch at least six innings and fan six or more, while he never allowed more than two earned runs in a start and opponents hit a combined .153 against him for the month. The outstanding stretch gave him a 3-3 mark on the year in 10 starts, to go along with a 2.94 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 64 1 ⁄3 innings pitched. Counting his Aug. 4 outing, he has made five straight "quality" starts — defined as a starter going at least six innings and allowing three earned runs or less — and his current ERA would set a new career low, besting the 3.75 he posted in 139 1 ⁄3 innings as a rookie. "Clearly, he has the stuff," White Sox man- ager Rick Renteria said following Rodon's July 29 start, a day he threw 7 2 ⁄3 innings of two-run ball before the bullpen gave up a ninth-inning rally in a 7-4 loss to the Blue Jays. "He's commanding the strike zone, he's attacking, he's minimizing mistakes, thank- fully, as he continues to pitch, and he's a competitor. "He's got the mentality and the heart, and now he seems to be connecting all of that with the ability to execute. With the stuff that he has, it's pretty effective." Trea Turner Has Already Set Several Career Highs In 2018 Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner set a career high with 114 games played through Aug. 8, but that isn't the only single-season best he had already posted. He has also set new personal records for at-bats (459), hits (123) home runs (14), RBI (48), walks (46), intentional walks (three) and total bases (189) while hitting .268. As of Aug. 8, he was just six extra-base hits and six runs from tying career highs set last year. The 25-year-old also ranked among the MLB leaders in several categories through Aug. 8. He was tied for 22nd in runs scored (69) and 23rd in the league for hits, and he led all players with 31 stolen bases — four more than the next best total. He has been thrown out just seven times on the year, a success rate of 81.6 percent. called him "one of the league's premier power/speed combos" after he reached the 30 stolen base plateau for the third straight campaign. He was even one of five candidates for the 2018 MLB All-Star Final Vote, although he did not win it. Andrew Knizner Takes Part In MLB Futures Game Catcher Andrew Knizner was ranked as the St. Louis Cardinals' No. 9 prospect by MLB. com coming into the season, and has risen as high as No. 5 this year. He got an even bigger honor in mid-July, when he was added to the Team USA roster as an injury replacement in the 20th annual Futures Game during MLB All-Star Week- end in Washington, D.C., less than two hours from his hometown of Glen Allen, Va. The 2016 seventh-round draft choice went 0 for 2 in the game with a pair of strike- outs, but has played well while splitting time between his club's Double-A and Triple-A In July, Rodon registered four quality starts and went 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 28 2 ⁄3 innings pitched. PHOTO BY RON VESELY/CHICAGO WHITE SOX

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