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Rodon progressing nicely during injury rehab

White Sox lefty incorporating his slider in throwing program
MLB.com @scottmerkin

KANSAS CITY -- Carlos Rodon did not figure in the White Sox Opening Day plans on Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

In fact, Rodon, who was recently placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday, won't be part of the 2018 Major League equation for at least another six weeks or two months. But the club is very excited by what it has seen from the 25-year-old southpaw during his rehab work from season-ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery last September.

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KANSAS CITY -- Carlos Rodon did not figure in the White Sox Opening Day plans on Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

In fact, Rodon, who was recently placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday, won't be part of the 2018 Major League equation for at least another six weeks or two months. But the club is very excited by what it has seen from the 25-year-old southpaw during his rehab work from season-ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery last September.

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"We have a schedule mapped out that we started on the first day of Spring Training. He's hit every milestone on that schedule," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said during his season-opening media meeting prior to Thursday's game. "I think he actually moved it up a few days based on how he was feeling, so, so far, so good. He's progressing very nicely."

"Rodon looked great," pitching coach Don Cooper said. "My first comment was just playing catch, he looked better than he did two years ago. Looser, easier, quicker. Now he's in his throwing program. He's looking good. He's coming. I've told him this. We just don't know when. But he'll be back."

On Thursday in Arizona, Rodon threw 30 to 35 pitches off the mound, according to Cooper. It marked the third or fourth time Rodon has thrown a bullpen session, and he's incorporating his slider into what was originally a fastball/changeup focus as part of his throwing program.

"The slider is the one we are bringing along slow," Cooper said. "But he's throwing all his pitches."

"He's in a normal throwing program progression," Hahn said. "That will eventually move to batting practice, and then move to outings in extended spring training and then move to a rehab assignment with an affiliate or two."

Adding Rodon to the rotation becomes a nice in-season boost for the rebuilding White Sox. The initial prognosis of six to eight months out of action still holds true for Rodon, which would leave him ready at the beginning of June.

That timetable certainly could move up. But Hahn isn't rushing to judgment with Rodon based on these current strong results.

"Let's wait until he's on a rehab assignment before we really start to zero in on timing," Hahn said. "I suspect it will be closer to the eight-month mark, which would be June 1, then obviously the six-month mark, which would be today. He's progressing nicely and once he's on a rehab assignment, we'll have a better sense of the exact return."

Around the horn
• Right-hander Jose Ruiz was outrighted to Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. The White Sox 40-man roster now sits at 39.

• Manager Rick Renteria plans to use left-handed-hitting Nicky Delmonico against left-handed pitchers.

"As long as I believe he doesn't have a difficult matchup ahead of him," Renteria said. "Every situation is different. For him, he stands in against lefties pretty well."

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, Carlos Rodon