The White Sox have announced a brutal trio of injury updates this afternoon, as James Fegan of The Athletic was among those to cover (links to Twitter). Lefty Carlos Rodon, righty Nate Jones, and propect Micker Adolfo are all slated for season-ending surgeries.
Rodon is headed in for Tommy John surgery on Wednesday. That outcome had been expected after the procedure was recommended recently. If all goes well, the 26-year-old could return at some point during the 2020 season.
The White Sox are paying Rodon $4.2MM this year, his second of four seasons of arbitration eligibility. With seven starts under his belt in 2019, Rodon has likely done enough to nudge that rate forward at least a bit, but won’t be due a significant raise. The former first-rounder has had some worrying health problems in recent years, but this will represent the most significant disruption to his career.
As for Jones, it’s another disappointing turn for a reliever whose career has been sidetracked by a never-ending barrage of injuries, including a prior TJ procedure (among others). The 33-year-old underwent surgery yesterday to address a flexor mass injury in his right forearm. He has averaged less than 25 innings annually since the start of the 2014 season.
Jones remains controllable under the extension he signed in late 2015, which includes successive club options that include a $1.25MM buyout. The 2020 option was to be valued at either $3.75MM or $5.15MM, depending upon whether Jones had certain elbow procedures prior to 2018. He did not have another Tommy John surgery but did undergo a nerve repositioning procedure; whether the clause was triggered depends upon the precise language of the contract, which does not appear to have been reported.
Though he’s an outfielder rather than a pitcher, Adolfo has seen his own burgeoning career thwarted to this point by elbow troubles (among other injuries). He underwent TJS last year and worked back to health in time to take 95 plate appearances this season at Double-A (functioning only as a DH). His latest elbow work will require a four-to-six month break from baseball activities. GM Rick Hahn added that Adolfo will receive a fourth option year due to the health woes, which will make it easier for the club to hang onto him while he works back to health yet again.