After striking out 135 batters in 114.2 innings last year as a freshman, NC State left-hander Carlos Rodon entered the present season as one of collegiate baseball’s most notable draft-ineligible prospects.
Rodon’s first four starts of 2013 have been decidedly mixed: despite posting a 46:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio (for strikeout and walk rates of 47.4% and 8.2%, respectively) in 24.1 innings, he’s conceded four homers and 14 total earned runs — for rather a high 5.18 ERA.
Regardless of what might be to blame for Rodon’s difficulties — be it bad luck on home runs per batted ball, the lack of a third pitch with which to neutralize a right-hander’s platoon advantage, or some other cause — it’s manifestly the case that Rodon’s slider is still excellent.
Did, as fourth century theologian St. Athanasius contends in his De Incarnatione, “God [become] man so that man might become God”? It’s not for the present author to say. However, Carlos Rodon’s slider would be decent evidence on behalf of that argument.
Consider an example of same from this past Friday — in this case, to Clemson right fielder Steven Duggar:
And, in this case, to Clemson catcher Garrett Boulware:
And, in this final one, again to Boulware for the strikeout: