Ever since selecting Carlos Rodon with the No. 3 overall pick in the June amateur draft, the White Sox have been confident the decorated left-handed pitcher from North Carolina State was going to make an impact at the major-league level.
It just won't be this season.
Playing their first game in September Tuesday night against the Twins at Target Field, the Sox expanded the 25-man roster with seven minor-league call-ups.
Pitchers Chris Bassitt, Scott Carroll and Eric Surkamp, outfielders Jordan Danks and Michael Taylor, catcher Josh Phegley and infielder Marcus Semien joined the White Sox in Minnesota.
Rodon did not.
"I don't want to have anything lost in the decision to not bring Carlos up," general manager Rick Hahn told reporters at Target Field. "I don't want to lose the fact that he's had a very fine year. We are absolutely thrilled with where he is and how quickly he has progressed through the system. Fundamentally, the decision came down to it just wasn't the right time in his development to bring him to the big leagues and continue his development here and ask him to get big-league hitters out."
Drafted on June 5, Rodon agreed to terms with the Sox on July 11 and his $6.582 million signing bonus was the largest in franchise history.
The 21-year-old lefty pitched a combined 24.2 innings with the Arizona Rookie League White Sox, high Class A Winston-Salem and AAA Charlotte, allowing 8 earned runs on 20 hits and 13 walks.
In addition to posting a combined 2.92 ERA, Rodon struck out 38.
With the Sox headed toward their sixth straight season without a playoff appearance, adding Rodon to the roster would have generated some needed excitement over the final month.
"I realize it would have been fun to have him here because he's an exciting player," Hahn said. "I realize it would have been an element of the future that people want to see. But fundamentally we are making these decisions about what's best for his long-term development.
"If today was July 2 or August 2 and the player had made three starts at Triple-A and three starts in the minors and had 25 some odd innings as a pro, nobody would be asking why he's not in the big leagues. We are trying to make those decisions in that context. We are not using time to dictate these decisions."
Hahn said Rodon is not going to the Instructional League and he's not going to pitch in winter ball.
He'll be back up on the mound in February when spring training starts and will try to pitch his way into the White Sox' starting rotation.
Rodon already has a major-league slider, but his changeup still needs work and his fastball command can also get better.
"He knows a few specific things we want to continue to see development with," Hahn said. "We felt having him work on those things at the big-league level right now didn't make a lot of sense. It wasn't the best way to get the most out of it."