Anticipation continues to mount across Major League Baseball as we move closer and closer to the historic Field of Dreams Game between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees.
First announced in August 2019, it’s been a tumultuous journey for the event with multiple delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But all that is in the past. The site is built, and this coming Thursday, they will come.
With one of the most storied histories in baseball and control of the biggest sports market in the country, the Yankees are no stranger to the national spotlight. The White Sox, however, are a team that has historically taken a back seat to the more popular team in their city. Even when their on-field play is clearly better, the national attention is seemingly more focused on the North Side of Chicago. While much of the fan base embraces this perpetual underdog status, it’s undeniable that it’s time for the first-place White Sox to gain some national respect. What better place to do it than on the biggest MLB regular-season stage in recent memory?
White Sox fans have been eager to learn which member of their star-studded rotation would take the mound in an effort to lead this team to glory in Dyersville, Iowa. Well, wait no more Sox fans.
The White Sox have made their decision, as manager Tony La Russa said Carlos Rodon will get the start in the Field of Dreams game.
An Honor Well Deserved
Carlos Rodon has been one of the best stories in baseball this season, and it seems fitting that he’s given the chance to continue his redemption story on this stage.
The 2021 All-Star is having a career year on the South Side. Rodon is 9-5 on the season with a 2.38 ERA and 0.957 WHIP. He is striking out batters at an astonishing 13.1 K/9 rate. Rodon leads the American League in batting average against (.189) and OPS against (.566) amongst starters with at least 100 innings pitched. All of this has culminated in 3.7 bWAR already on the season. According to ESPN’s Cy Young Predictor, Rodon is currently fifth in likely American League Cy Young winners.
Rodon will head into the Field of Dreams game following a nice outing against the Chicago Cubs. On Saturday, he struck out 11 batters over 5.0 innings of work, allowing just two hits and no runs. It was a welcome return for the 28-year-old who struggled in his two previous starts. In those outings, he gave up a combined 12 hits and eight runs across eight innings. Many fans were starting to become concerned that their All-Star may be experiencing a dead-arm period. Against the Cubs, Rodon proved that he is still very much alive.
A Historic Opportunity
Rodon will have a chance to build upon his career year against a Yankees team that ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of overall offense. The Yankees currently hold a team OPS+ of 98 with the league average being 100. However, they did inject some power into their lineup at the trade deadline with the acquisitions of Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo.
Rodon will need to have his control dialed in against these Yankees, who lead the AL by a large margin in walks.
Regardless of the outcome, White Sox fans and players will remember this event for quite some time. For Rodon however, this is a chance to show the rest of the world what White Sox fans already know — that he is back and here to stay.
At the time of writing, the Yankees have yet to release their starter for the game.
The Field of Dreams Game will air Thursday, August 12, at 7:00 PM Central on Fox.