To be the starting pitcher the White Sox hope Carlos Rodon will become, he'll have to improve his fastball command and refine his changeup. Those are the normal refinements that mark the transition from college to pro ball.
But the big question that revolves around Rodon in his first half-season as a pro is whether he'll be able to feature the plus fastball and slider he'd showed at his best in college, or whether his stuff will be diminished, as it was at times in his junior year at N.C. State.
In Rodon's high Class A debut at Winston-Salem a few weeks ago, Rodon's stuff was average at best.
But Wednesday night, Rodon was back in the dominating form. He got ahead with a 93-95 mph fastball that touched 97 mph, then generally finished off Lynchburg hitters with his 86-90 mph slider.
Rodon's slider didn't have as big a break as he has shown in the past, but it was equally effective because he demonstrated that he could throw it for strikes. Rodon didn't feature his changeup much, but he did finish with a flourish, striking out the final batter he faced with three changeups.
He struck out seven in 3 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and one unearned run while walking one.