White Sox open '20 at home vs. KC (March 26)

Schedule release gives Rodon frame of reference for return from TJ

August 12th, 2019

CHICAGO -- The White Sox open the 2020 regular season at home against the Kansas City Royals, with Opening Day scheduled for Thursday, March 26, at Guaranteed Rate Field. This season opener marks the earliest in franchise and Major League history, excluding international games, with all 30 teams scheduled to play on March 26.

It will be a three-game series to start the season between the White Sox and Royals, with an off-day on that ensuing Friday. It’s the third straight season the White Sox start up against the Royals and the 16th time in the last 18 seasons their first opponent will be against the American League Central. The White Sox open at home for the fifth time since 2010.

A March/April schedule for the White Sox features 16 home games and three each on the road at Cleveland and Kansas City, meaning they will be dealing with the cooler/rainy Midwest spring. It was just a few years back where White Sox head groundskeeper Roger Bossard was using a jackhammer to remove ice from the field in the days leading up to the home opener.

For a player such as Carlos Rodon, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, the ’20 schedule presents a target for return. It also leaves Rodon somewhat saddened in missing a few early road contests.

“I’m upset I’m missing Colorado. I like going to Colorado,” said Rodon of the two-game series on April 28-29. “I miss that. I’ve never been to San Francisco. Probably going to miss that.”

That San Francisco series runs from May 8-10, followed by three games in San Diego from May 11-13, giving White Sox fans a chance to visit two of the most picturesque ballparks in the game. Their first road trip of ’20 covers six games and seven days to Cleveland (March 30-April 1) and Boston (April 2-5; off-day on April 3). The White Sox will serve as Boston’s home opener.

On Thursday, Aug. 13, the White Sox will play host to the New York Yankees in MLB’s “Field of Dreams” game in Dyersville, Iowa, at the site of the beloved 1989 baseball movie “Field of Dreams.” An 8,000-seat ballpark will be constructed at the site and will have design aspects of Old Comiskey Park, the home of the White Sox from 1910-1990. Following an off-day on Friday, Aug. 14, the Sox and Yankees will conclude the three-game series on Aug. 15-16 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Crosstown action against the Cubs takes place on July 7-8 at Guaranteed Rate Field, on a Tuesday and a Wednesday, and on July 20-21 at Wrigley Field, on a Monday and a Tuesday. The White Sox have one three-team homestand (Aug. 7-16 vs. Indians, Angels and Yankees) and take one three-city trip (June 12-21 at Houston, Detroit and Cleveland).

Rodon provides update

Rodon enters Week 13 of his Tommy John recovery and can pretty much do everything within limit, except for throwing.

“It’s more like a build-up,” Rodon said. “But I’ve been doing lifting and just started lifting with my left arm again. You have to build and try to get more weight on it week by week.

“Start throwing in October. The extent of throwing is more of a toss as the Tommy John protocol. It’s pretty slow. It’s 12 to 14 months.”

The 26-year-old southpaw, who posted a 5.19 ERA in seven starts this season prior to the injury, is hoping for a late June/early July return in ’20.

“I can’t really ask for more, I can’t really speed it up any faster. I feel pretty normal,” Rodon said. “It’s going good.”

PLAY Campaign makes a stop at Guaranteed Rate

The 2019 National PLAY Campaign beat Chicago’s rainy weather and made a stop at Guaranteed Rate Field on Monday morning. The event, featuring about 60 kids in attendance, promotes the importance of children living a healthy and active lifestyle.

“We really had a good event today,” White Sox assistant athletic trainer Brett Walker said. “The PLAY event is a campaign to get kids out, moving, doing activities and just kind of having unstructured play.

“Here on the South Side, there’s a lot of under-served kids. So, we got to bring some in today and play on the field.”

The kids participated in games involving plastic bats and balls, with All-Star Lucas Giolito in attendance and pitching to some of the kids following his career-high 13 strikeouts Sunday. Giolito also spoke to the kids as the White Sox representative for the Taylor Hooton Foundation.

“It was awesome,” Walker said.

He said it

“I say the same thing to all of them: Good to see those kids have finally made it. It took them a while.” -- A smiling Rodon, who spent 20 games in the Minors, on his message to the other young hurlers when they arrive