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Inbox: Who replaces Rodon in the rotation?

Beat reporter Scott Merkin answers fans' questions
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- Let's take a look at this week's Inbox questions, with SoxFest 2018 a little over one week away.

Do we have an option besides Carson Fulmer while we wait for Carlos Rodon? If not, are we expected to sign someone, or stick with Fulmer? I feel like we need one more veteran to eat innings.
-- Michael, @mike__prousa

CHICAGO -- Let's take a look at this week's Inbox questions, with SoxFest 2018 a little over one week away.

Do we have an option besides Carson Fulmer while we wait for Carlos Rodon? If not, are we expected to sign someone, or stick with Fulmer? I feel like we need one more veteran to eat innings.
-- Michael, @mike__prousa

Having another veteran who could move between the rotation and the bullpen is something I've mentioned a few times over the past month or so. I'm guessing that option would be someone not currently on the roster, or maybe a player already in the system with starting experience.

:: Submit a question to the White Sox Inbox ::

Don't sleep on Fulmer, though, as I look for the right-hander to take full advantage of his starting opportunity. He worked his way through a tough 2017 season by finding great rhythm and confidence on the mound at the end, posting a 1.56 ERA over his last four starts.

The White Sox have a bunch of good right-handed pitching prospects. How long before we have a good idea which are going to be starters, which go to the bullpen and which should be traded?
-- Bob, Reading, UK, @bobito64

Year 2 of the rebuild centers on development, an unofficial theme general manager Rick Hahn has pointed out on a number of occasions. But that development also will give the White Sox a chance to see a little more of what they have in each of these prospects to make those decisions you've mentioned, Bob.

• Kopech could join rotation by midseason

Hahn's past comments have focused on giving a pitcher they view as a starter the chance to stay a starter as long as possible, but as things line up now, there seems to be a few too many quality-looking pitchers to fit into one rotation. It's a good problem to have if it plays out.

How about Mike Moustakas on a one-year deal to play third? If it works, then discuss long-term contract. Thanks, Scott.
-- Mike, Chicago Midway, @mikewalsh4609

The White Sox lack pure left-handed power, but I haven't heard any rumblings of the team's interest in the 30-year-old Moustakas. I like the combination of Yolmer Sanchez and Matt Davidson at third for this season.

Yes, they can be opportunistic at this stage of the rebuild. Then again, taking a one-year chance on a player who might leave even after a positive experience this season only becomes worth it if the White Sox ultimately envision him as part of their long-term plan. The White Sox certainly could surprise in '18, but this season is one year early for prime contention.

If Avisail Garcia plays like he did last season, what kind of return could we get at the [Trade Deadline]?
-- Stephen, Chicago, @slynch34

It's interesting that Garcia, who turns 27 during the 2018 season, is being looked at by many as trade potential as opposed to a part of the rebuild. That outlook is influenced by the White Sox having just two years of control over Garcia and a plethora of elite outfield prospects coming through the system. Another strong year from Garcia increases his value in a trade, but also within the organization.

Video: Renteria credits consistency to Avi's strong 2017

What is a realistic debut date for Eloy Jimenez?
-- Joe, Midlothian, @jdwyer02

There's a chance Jimenez plays the whole 2018 campaign at the Minor League level, with 73 plate appearances for Double-A Birmingham in '17 marking his high point of competition. But Jimenez is the sort of elite player who should force the issue, so I'll say somewhere later in the season -- maybe August.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox