Skip to content

Potential top draft pick Carlos Rodon threw 132 pitches in a complete game loss on Friday

Apr 26, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

Carlos Rodon Carlos Rodon

NC State Wolfpack starter Carlos Rodon is expected to be one of the first few players taken in the upcoming amateur draft. However, his coaches certainly isn’t being careful with his precious arm. In a complete game loss to Georgia Tech on Friday, Rodon threw 132 pitches. Overall, Rodon allowed one run on six hits and two walks while striking out 15.

As Chris Crawford of MLB Draft Insider noted on Twitter, Rodon has tossed a total of 379 pitches over his last three starts, an average of 126 pitches per start. It’s one thing for a veteran Major League pitcher to average 126 pitches over three starts, but it’s very concerning that the Wolfpack have been riding Rodon’s arm so heavily. As his age implies, the 21-year-old’s arm is still developing and still getting used to a strenuous workload.

ESPN’s Keith Law wrote a column on April 13 raising concern after NC State had Rodon throw 134 pitches. Law criticized Rodon’s coaching staff for making him throw so many pitches:

This was a clear example of a coaching staff putting their own interests over those of a pitcher, a perfect example of moral hazard at work in amateur baseball, one that calls for regulation by the NCAA.

The plight of college athletes has gained some publicity lately with Northwestern football’s quest to unionize and University of Connecticut basketball player Shabazz Napier telling the media that some nights he went to bed “starving”. It’s easy to see the abuse of top-tier pitchers and it’s even easier to see why it happens.

NC State Wolfpack baseball head coach Elliott Avent and associate head coach Tom Holliday don’t get more money or more job security by protecting Rodon. Taking him out of the game after 90 pitches means the team would need to rely on inferior pitchers, making them more likely to lose games. And when the team loses more games, that reflects poorly on the coaching staff. Rodon won’t be giving Avent ten percent of his signing bonus, so what is Avent’s motivation to do anything other than ride Rodon’s arm into the ground, vying for wins?

Unfortunately, Rodon is in a sticky situation. He can’t say no to his manager, as insubordination will stick with him throughout his professional career and it will make him an easy target for controversy. But he also shouldn’t have to put up with being forced to throw nearly 130 pitches every time he pitches. NC State’s season ends on May 17, so Rodon only has another handful of starts to make before he can look forward to starting his professional baseball career. Let’s hope that the miles put on his arm only makes him stronger, and doesn’t make him any more likely to turn into the next Mark Prior.

Latest Posts
  1. Stephen Strasburg lands on disabled list with oblique strain

    Jul 5, 2015, 4:15 PM EDT

    Stephen Strasburg pitches for the Harrisburg Senators, June 17, 2015 Stephen Strasburg pitches for the Harrisburg Senators, June 17, 2015

    Strasburg suffered the oblique strain Saturday in his start against the Giants. He had thrown 3 2/3 scoreless innings in that outing and was also sharp in his previous two starts since returning from a trapezius injury.

  2. Phillies acquire No. 1 international signing slot for 2015-2016 from the Diamondbacks

    Jul 5, 2015, 3:02 PM EDT

    phillies logo

    It looks, at first glance, like another smart rebuilding move for the determined-to-rebuild Phils.

  3. Cardinals put Jaime Garcia on disabled list with groin injury

    Jul 5, 2015, 1:46 PM EDT

    Jaime Garcia AP

    Garcia boasts a 1.69 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in seven starts (48 innings) this season. He’s missed a ton of time to injuries in his career, but most of the major problems have been elbow- and shoulder-related.

  4. Cubs get Jorge Soler back from ankle sprain

    Jul 5, 2015, 12:24 PM EDT

    Jorge Soler Jorge Soler

    Soler wound up missing over a month with a sprained left ankle.

  5. Orioles activate Jonathan Schoop after 10-week absence

    Jul 5, 2015, 11:19 AM EDT

    Jonathan Schoop Jonathan Schoop

    Schoop originally landed on the disabled list on April 18 after being diagnosed with both a PCL tear and MCL strain in his left knee.

  6. Video: Major League Baseball celebrates Independence Day

    Jul 5, 2015, 10:32 AM EDT

    Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

    Check out this wrap-around style montage of all the July 4 action in Major League Baseball …

  7. Josh Hamilton may be headed back to the disabled list

    Jul 5, 2015, 9:40 AM EDT

    hamilton1000 Getty Images

    Josh Hamilton has a .954 OPS in 10 games with the Rangers. The problem is he’s only played in 10 games.

  8. Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

    Jul 5, 2015, 8:53 AM EDT

    C.J. Cron AP

    The best fireworks on July 4 came from the Angels.

  9. Rangers option Chi Chi Gonzalez back to Triple-A

    Jul 4, 2015, 11:55 PM EDT

    Chi Chi Gonzalez Chi Chi Gonzalez

    Chi Chi Gonzalez posted good results in his first seven major league starts, but he’ll cede his rotation spot to Matt Harrison and head back to Triple-A.

  10. Video: Kris Bryant hits a grand slam as part of a two-homer, six-RBI night

    Jul 4, 2015, 10:45 PM EDT

    Kris Bryant AP

    Kris Bryant had a monster night at the plate on Saturday against the Marlins.

  11. Marlins option Jarred Cosart to Triple-A, will activate Michael Morse on Sunday

    Jul 4, 2015, 10:26 PM EDT

    Jarred Cosart Jarred Cosart

    Jarred Cosart had a rough outing on Saturday and will try to straighten things out at Triple-A.

  12. Orioles activate Jonathan Schoop, option Ryan Flaherty to Triple-A

    Jul 4, 2015, 10:15 PM EDT

    Jonathan Schoop Jonathan Schoop

    The Orioles got Jonathan Schoop back after nearly three months. They sent Ryan Flaherty to Triple-A to make room for him.

  13. Report: The Braves continue to shop Chris Johnson

    Jul 4, 2015, 9:25 PM EDT

    chris johnson getty Getty Images

    The Braves are trying to shop an expensive, ineffective Chris Johnson.

  14. The Twins signed Scott Atchison to a minor league deal

    Jul 4, 2015, 9:07 PM EDT

    Scott Atchison Scott Atchison

    The Twins added some bullpen depth in signing Scott Atchison to a minor league deal.

  15. The Giants attempted to pick off Bryce Harper by bringing in their center fielder

    Jul 4, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT

    Bryce Harper Bryce Harper

    The Giants tried to get creative to catch Bryce Harper napping off of second base.

  16. Rockies activate John Axford from the family medical emergency list

    Jul 4, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT

    John Axford John Axford

    John Axford is back with the Rockies, ready to continue closing out games.

  17. Twins move Trevor May to the bullpen to make room for Ervin Santana

    Jul 4, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Ervin Santana Ervin Santana

    Ervin Santana is back. Trevor May’s rotation spot has been freed up to make room for him.

  18. Video: Avisail Garcia robs Chris Davis of a game-tying home run in the ninth inning

    Jul 4, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 31:  Avisail Garcia #26 of the Chicago White Sox runs out a hit against the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning of the game at Fenway Park on August 31 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Avisail Garcia robbed Chris Davis of a home run. It was as glorious as it sounds.

  19. Cubs place David Ross on 7-day concussion disabled list

    Jul 4, 2015, 5:28 PM EDT

    CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 25: David Ross #3 of the Chicago Cubs works behind the plate during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field on June 25, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Dodgers defeated the Cubs 4-0. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Ross, 38, is batting .189/.302/.284 over 87 plate appearances this season.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (4047)
  2. J. Ellsbury (3518)
  3. P. Corbin (3259)
  4. M. Moore (3232)
  5. M. Sano (3193)
  1. M. Cain (2846)
  2. B. Harper (2814)
  3. J. Soler (2786)
  4. S. Gray (2724)
  5. C. Dickerson (2640)