For now, Sox go with current crew in wake of Rodon's injured elbow
When Carlos Rodon went down with left elbow inflammation Thursday, it was the worst possible news for the White Sox.
The minor-league system is loaded with outfield prospects, and the Sox are also well stocked with catchers, infielders and relief pitchers.
But starting pitchers are in short supply, especially with top arms Michael Kopech and Dane Dunning recovering from Tommy John surgery.
With Rodon down -- and possibly out for the season if he needs surgery -- Dylan Covey replaces him in a White Sox rotation that also includes Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito, Manny Banuelos and Ivan Nova.
"We'll rely on the five that are here right now, and we've had some conversations about other guys in the organization that might need to step in on occasion," Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "We may need to go outside a little bit and patch this thing on the fly. You've seen that happen before. It certainly isn't our preference, we'd like to see the five we have here now go on a nice, sustainable run for the foreseeable future and then some of the young guys force their way here. That's the ideal plan but we've talked about needing to come up with some other options."
If Covey doesn't pan out, there is another Dylan in the organization. He's Dylan Cease, one of the top pitching prospects in baseball.
With just one month under his belt at Class AAA Charlotte, Cease is likely to stay put until August or September.
"To stem off the inevitable Dylan Cease question, no one is going to be promoted to Chicago simply because there's a need in Chicago, but because it's the best next step in their development," Hahn said. "Dylan's timeline is not in any way affected by anything that happens with Carlos, it's only going to be affected by what happens with Dylan."
If the Sox do need another starter, and that is highly likely at some point the rest of the season, they might take a look at free-agent Dallas Keuchel.
The American League Cy Young Award winner in 2015 with the Astros, Keuchel is still on the market but has reportedly lowered his contract demands.
Any team signing Keuchel now owes Houston a high draft pick since the 31-year-old lefty was extended a qualifying offer at the end of last season.
Teams are likely going to wait until after the first round of the upcoming draft ends June 3 before they try and sign Keuchel without having to lose a pick.
The White Sox best minor-league starters after Cease are all at Class AA Birmingham -- Jimmy Lambert, Bernardo Flores, Kyle Kubat and Felix Paulino.
Like Hahn, Sox manager Rick Renteria is hoping for the best from the current starting five.
"They're all major-league pitchers who have to find consistency," Renteria said. "The truth is, they have to go out and get it done."