Time to rest? Rodon heads to offseason after heavy workload
Posted July 30, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Another summer down, another season of supremacy for North Carolina State pitcher Carlos Rodon in a Team USA jersey.
The 6-foot-3 lefty from Holly Springs posted a 3-0 record in four starts for the Collegiate Men’s National Team as they went 20-3 in their summer tour. Rodon did not allow a run and only surrendered five hits in 17 innings of work for Team USA while striking out 21 to just four walks.
"It was a great experience. (It was the) second time I've played against Cuba, last year I got to play in Havana, and it was some good baseball," Rodon said. "So, overall it was a lot of fun."
With summer ball now in the rear view, what’s next for Rodon?
For the second straight season, NC State will be faced with a dilemma of how to handle the fireballer in fall ball, after an additional month's workload. Between Wolfpack red and America's red, white and blue, Rodon has thrown 149.1 innings in 2013 – 15.2 more than he did last year.
"We'll see what we're going to do about that," N.C. State head coach Elliott Avent said. "We shut him down last year, and he kind of came out of the gate slow."
With a combination of the southpaw's shutdown last fall and cold, late winter weather that kept his fastball hovering in the high 80's, Rodon saw his ERA climb to near 5.00 thru nine starts. But when the All-American hit his stride, and got his No. 1 into the mid-to-high 90s, the nation's strikeout king couldn't be hit and he saw his ERA fall below 3.00 while posting a 4:1 strike-out-to-walk ratio.
"We'll have some conversations with (NC State pitching coach Tom) Holliday and Carlos, he's starting to understand his body pretty good," Avent said. "It worked out pretty well last year, because at the end of the season, he was pretty dominating."
Past experience and present performance has created a tough but welcomed decision for Avent - to shut Rodon down or not to shut Rodon down. Risk-reward: gambling on early-season success to open the door for left arm exhaustion.
"We want this guy to be the No. 1 pick in the country next year as well as help NC State get back to the College World Series, and possibly win the whole thing," Avent said.
Many conversations are still to be had, but Avent doubts Rodon will pitch any this autumn.