GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon moved a step closer to getting into game action on Tuesday, throwing 64 pitches in his first simulated game of the spring.Rodon faced White Sox Minor Leaguers on a back field at Camelback Ranch, pitching from both a full windup and from
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon moved a step closer to getting into game action on Tuesday, throwing 64 pitches in his first simulated game of the spring.
Rodon faced White Sox Minor Leaguers on a back field at Camelback Ranch, pitching from both a full windup and from the stretch.
"Rody did a really nice job," manager Rick Renteria said. "He was working on fastball and changeup the first round, working on fastball command. He mixed in some cutters and some sliders. His ball has tremendous life. Nothing against the kids who were hitting against him, but we saw a lot of balls in the cage."
The White Sox are easing Rodon into action this spring, although it is not injury related.
Rodon said his slider was "there," and he was happy with his progression.
"I felt good," Rodon said. "We got up and down four times. Just trying to get up and down and get that feeling back of sitting down between innings and getting up again. Everything felt good. I'm just ready for the next time we get out there."
Rodon previously threw two batting-practice sessions against hitters, throwing 40 pitches his first time out and 48 in the second session. He's taking it slow this spring in hopes of maximizing his innings during the regular season.
"Obviously [keeping pitch counts down] is an emphasis for every pitcher that goes out," Rodon said. "They want to keep it under 100 pitches. 90 pitches in nine innings would be awesome. Everyone wants to do that, but that doesn't happen all the time. I try to go a strong seven. I think of it as trying to get six or seven innings under my belt and let the bullpen take over. Leave with a lead."
Through his first two big league seasons, Rodon is 18-16 with a 3.90 ERA and 307 strikeouts in 304 1/3 innings. He will likely be the No. 2 starter in the rotation, though Renteria has yet to announce his Opening Day starter.
Rodon might have one more simulated game before getting into Cactus League action, according to Renteria, though the White Sox southpaw is raring to return.
"I just want to get in a game," Rodon said. "Just to pitch to those guys, get in the game and pitch."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com.