CHICAGO -- Carlos Rodon returned to the White Sox clubhouse Sunday and figures to make his 2017 mound debut either Wednesday or Thursday night at Guaranteed Rate Field against the Yankees after being sidelined all season by biceps bursitis.White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Sunday that a date was still
CHICAGO -- Carlos Rodon returned to the White Sox clubhouse Sunday and figures to make his 2017 mound debut either Wednesday or Thursday night at Guaranteed Rate Field against the Yankees after being sidelined all season by biceps bursitis.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Sunday that a date was still being discussed for Rodon's start. But in a media session following batting practice, Rodon mentioned an excitement for facing the Yankees as part of being "geeked up" for start No. 1. With Rodon having last pitched Friday for Triple-A Charlotte, Wednesday or Thursday would be his next rotation turn.
"It has been different," said Rodon, who made three injury rehabilitation starts for Charlotte and one for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem along with his Arizona work during extended spring camp. "I did pitch in some competitive games in the Minor Leagues. It was good to make my way through there again. I saw some guys and had some fun in different towns."
Rodon, 24, posted an 0-4 record with a 10.06 ERA during his Minor League run. The southpaw allowed 19 earned runs over 17 innings, striking out 17 and walking nine.
But the raw statistics really don't matter in this instance. The White Sox were more concerned with Rodon building up innings, arm strength and the life on his pitches.
"Even his last [rehab start] was actually better than people think. He got up to 91 pitches or 92 pitches in just a little over four innings, but there were maybe some plays that could've been made that weren't," Renteria said. "Slider was working well, fastball was good. And just again, healthy. Feeling good.
"A lot of these guys, once they get back up to where they should be, they feel a little bit more comfortable up here. Their adrenaline is going to be a little high. Hopefully it works to his advantage.
"We're hoping he could kind of calm the waters a little bit in the rotation once he gets to his spot," Renteria said. "He's been down a while so hopefully he can settle into his role quickly, be effective and help us moving forward."
This absence, where Rodon felt like a fan watching the team from afar, became a learning experience. After making only one Cactus League appearance due to shoulder tightness, Rodon established a true work routine with something to do every day.
"Every day has a purpose, and that was the main thing," said Rodon, who has a lifetime mark of 18-16 with a 3.90 in two seasons, including 307 strikeouts and 125 walks over 304 1/3 innings. "I was not as mature. I was a little young. You roll out of bed and you can just throw. It takes a couple of other things to get ready and go.
"I'm not going to get real specific. There's something to do every day. It might be an arm thing or weights or whatever it is."
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.