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Rodon close to making season debut

Lefty pitched 4 1/3 innings in rehab start on Friday
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The wait for White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon may be nearing its close, as manager Rick Renteria said Saturday that the 24-year-old will "possibly" make his season debut in the Majors next week.

If Rodon's next scheduled start is in the big leagues, it will likely come Wednesday or Thursday against the Yankees or Friday against the Rangers at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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CHICAGO -- The wait for White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon may be nearing its close, as manager Rick Renteria said Saturday that the 24-year-old will "possibly" make his season debut in the Majors next week.

If Rodon's next scheduled start is in the big leagues, it will likely come Wednesday or Thursday against the Yankees or Friday against the Rangers at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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Rodon, who hasn't pitched this season while dealing with left biceps bursitis, made his fourth rehab start Friday and third with Triple-A Charlotte, getting up to 91 pitches while giving up seven runs in 4 1/3 innings.

"He felt good, pain-free, we're very happy with that," Renteria said. "According to the reports, the slider was working very well. He's on track to come on back."

Renteria said he's not worried about the raw numbers from Rodon's rehab outings, instead looking to make sure his left-hander was healthy and built his pitch count and velocity up.

"I think that a lot of those guys who have been here a while, once you get back here and into the arena it kind of heightens their ability with the adrenaline a little bit," Renteria said. "Hopefully he comes back and he's ready to go. The biggest concern we had was extending him and bringing him back healthy."

Rodon, who has gone 18-16 with a 3.90 ERA over two big league seasons with the White Sox, has had a long buildup to get to this point. He made just one start in Spring Training -- an effective outing against the Angels -- before being sidelined with the injury. After three simulated games and four rehab appearances, he finally appears ready to rejoin a rotation that has been in shuffle for most of the season.

Rodon's possible return would be the second major return to the rotation in a matter of weeks. Right-hander James Shields recently returned from a right lat strain, though starter Miguel Gonzalez was added to the 10-day DL in a corresponding move.

Renteria, who has been within the White Sox organization throughout Rodon's big league career, said he's looking forward to having his "horse" back in the rotation and to continue to see the young southpaw's development and pitch efficiency now that he's healthy.

"I still think he's getting better, absolutely," Renteria said. "He's got a couple years under his belt in the big leagues here with the White Sox, and every year including last we started to see more and more improvement. That's why it was unfortunate that he was unable to break 2017 with us, but he's going to come back and continue to hopefully improve."

Worth noting

• Reliever Nate Jones threw and played catch Saturday before Chicago's game against Oakland and felt "really good," according to Renteria. He's been out since April 28 with right elbow neuritis.

Tyler Saladino has been cleared and took about 50 ground balls before Saturday's game. The second baseman has been shelved with back spasms since May 26.

• Gonzalez feels good in his return from A/C joint inflammation in his right shoulder. Renteria said Gonzalez will throw a bullpen session either Sunday or Monday and will have a couple side sessions before he's re-evaluated.

• Outfielder Leury Garcia is progressing slowly from a sprained finger in his left hand, Renteria said. The swelling has gone down, but Garcia needs to be pain-free and without discomfort before he can begin baseball activities.

Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Chicago White Sox, Carlos Rodon