White Sox

Carlos Rodon expected to miss 5-6 weeks for White Sox

Carlos Rodon expected to miss 5-6 weeks for White Sox

Barring any setbacks, the White Sox will be without Carlos Rodon until mid-May.

Rodon is expected to be out five to six weeks, general manager Rick Hahn said on Monday.

The White Sox southpaw is currently seven days into a two-week program where he’s throwing on flat ground. When that ends on April 10, the White Sox will give Rodon a specific program that will involve a rehab assignment at some point, according to Hahn.

Health permitting, the White Sox general manager doesn’t believe it will take the full six weeks. But they are in no rush to bring him back.

“Again, we're going to take our time on this one,” Hahn said. “If there's the least bit of discomfort or any stuff like that, we're going to take a step back and start this thing over. As I told Carlos directly, there's zero reason for us to rush through this."

Rodon wasn’t too thrilled when Hahn told him he’d start the season on the disabled list with a biceps injury, but the smart, and safe, call was made.

"When this first started and he and I had a conversation, and I shared with him 'I expect you to start on the DL' he didn't like the sound of that, even though obviously it was the right decision going forward, and he knew after he was examined it was the right decision going forward,” Hahn said. “And then when he came back from California and I said 'Well, you're being put on the DL on this date and here's the program going forward and we'll reassess on the 10th.

“Whether you miss two or three starts or you miss six or seven, we're going to take whatever time is needed,' he said 'six or seven? It's not going to be six or seven.' He's going to fight us every step of the way, but he knows and his representatives know we're doing what's best for Carlos."

With Rodon absent, the White Sox have a void to fill.

Dylan Covey, who could be the fifth man in the White Sox rotation when that turn comes up, is ready to go if needed. Manager Rick Renteria wasn’t sure if Monday’s rainout meant Covey would be in line to start Saturday against the Minnesota Twins.

Covey, a Rule 5 draft pick in December, has never pitched above the Double-A level. In 12.2 innings this spring training, he allowed 11 earned runs while working under pressure to get the outs he needed to make the White Sox Opening Day roster.

While Covey accomplished one challenging task, he has another one lying ahead of him: stay on the team.

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If Covey doesn’t remain on the White Sox main roster for the entire season, he will be placed on waivers and offered back to Oakland.

“I knew that if I obviously didn’t make the team, I was going back to Oakland and they are kind of backed up in their system right now,” Covey said. “I have no idea where I would have gone if I was sent back there. I knew that I had to make the most of every opportunity I got out here.”

As you can expect, Covey was delighted to see his name on the Opening Day roster for the first time in his career. Now he’s ready to make the most of his opportunity.

“That was awesome,” Covey said. “Got to call my family and tell them and definitely just a surreal feeling. Especially in my situation, there was so much pressure on me all spring. When they finally told me, I felt the weight was lifted off of my shoulders.

“Everyone in the clubhouse they knew the situation and they were very encouraging. When they found out I made the team, they said that’s awesome. I remember (Todd) Frazier saying that’s hard to do, congratulations. Everyone was really supportive.”

White Sox opposition research: What's there to know about the New York Yankees?


White Sox opposition research: What's there to know about the New York Yankees?

As the 2018 season nears and the White Sox get ready to take on the rest of the American League, we're taking a team-by-team look at all 14 of their opponents.

What’s there to know about the New York Yankees?

You know how everybody always (usually jokingly) refers to “stacked” lineups as the ‘27 Yankees? Well, it might be time to change that to the ‘18 Yankees.

The Bronx Bombers did their nickname justice this winter, adding reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton and teaming him with Aaron Judge to form a power-hitting combo perhaps unseen since the Ruth-Gehrig glory days.

Now that’s not to suggest that Stanton and Judge are going to become two of the greatest baseball players in history. But it is to suggest that they’re going to strike fear into opposing pitchers, with plenty of prognosticators predicting a combined 100 homers for the duo. That’s not crazy, either, considering Stanton led baseball with 59 bombs a season ago, the highest single-season total in almost two decades, and in a runaway Rookie of the Year campaign, Judge crushed 52 homers to lead the American League.

So, you know, 59 plus 52. That’s more than 100.

And while Stanton and Judge take all the attention, the Yankees’ lineup is pretty darn good outside of those two guys, too. Gary Sanchez is one of baseball’s best offensive catchers and hit an only shabby-by-comparison 33 homers last season. Didi Gregorius has plenty of pop for a shortstop, and he smacked 25 homers last season. Brett Gardner had a strong 2017. And even two late-in-the-offseason additions to the infield, Neil Walker and Brandon Drury, form a better 8-9 combo than most teams in the AL.

There’s no need to start spreading the news, it’s already been spread: The Yankees have one of the best, most fearsome offenses in the game.

As for the pitching, well that ain’t half bad either. Luis Severino had a 2.98 ERA and 230 strikeouts last season. CC Sabathia had a 3.69 ERA in 27 starts. Midseason acquisition Sonny Gray had a 3.55 ERA on the year. Masahiro Tanaka almost hit the 200-strikeout plateau.

And that bullpen is outstanding. Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle and Adam Warren formed as good a relief corps as you were likely to find in baseball last year.

Even with the division-rival Red Sox looking pretty good — and coming off a 93-win season — the Yanks will enter 2018 as the favorite in the always-competitive AL East. The question is how close they’ll come to being the favorite in the AL overall. The defending-champion Houston Astros still seem a hair ahead after besting the Yankees in last year’s ALCS. But the Bombers might have the preseason edge over the Cleveland Indians, especially after beating them in the playoffs last year.

Bottom line: The Yankees are really, really good. And don’t be surprised if you hear a lot of Billy Joel during the Fall Classic. "Some folks like to get away, take a holiday from the neighborhood ..."

2017 record: 91-71, second place in AL East, lost in ALCS

Offseason additions: Giancarlo Stanton, Neil Walker, Brandon Drury

Offseason departures: Todd Frazier, Jaime Garcia, Michael Pineda, Starlin Castro

X-factor: White Sox fans know how good Robertson and Kahnle were last season. Chapman and Betances are now household names as elite relief pitchers. But the best reliever of this whole group at the end of last season was Green, who finished the year with a 1.83 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 69 innings. Over his final 30 games, 47 innings, he had an even lower 1.53 ERA and 77 strikeouts. He allowed one run in September. And though he was roughed up a bit in his lone appearance against the Indians in the ALDS, he allowed just one unearned run in 6.1 innings against the Astros in the ALCS.

Projected lineup:

1. Brett Gardner, LF
2. Aaron Judge, RF
3. Giancarlo Stanton, DH
4. Gary Sanchez, C
5. Didi Gregorius, SS
6. Aaron Hicks, CF
7. Greg Bird, 1B
8. Neil Walker, 2B
9. Brandon Drury, 3B

Projected rotation:

1. Luis Severino
2. Masahiro Tanaka
3. CC Sabathia
4. Sonny Gray
5. Jordan Montgomery

Prediction: First place in AL East

Catch up on the AL:

Oakland Athletics
Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Angels
Houston Astros
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees

Catch up on the NL:

San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies

Ryan Cordell goes to Triple-A as White Sox seemingly figure out center field situation


Ryan Cordell goes to Triple-A as White Sox seemingly figure out center field situation

The White Sox center field situation seems to have a solution.

Ryan Cordell was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte, the team announced Thursday, bringing his bid to make the Opening Day roster to an end.

Cordell had a nice spring in his first action since joining the White Sox organization in last summer's trade that sent reliever Anthony Swarzak to the Milwaukee Brewers. Cordell was injured after playing 68 games at Triple-A Colorado Springs last season, but he got some love from general manager Rick Hahn at this winter's SoxFest, with Hahn saying three teams had called the White Sox inquiring about the 25-year-old outfielder.

In 17 Cactus League games, Cordell slashed an impressive .317/.417/.512 with six extra-base hits, eight runs scored, eight RBIs, seven walks and only six strikeouts. That performance brought on the idea that Cordell could not only make the team out of camp but perhaps be the Opening Day center fielder, potentially beating out an improved Adam Engel for the job after Engel hit just .166 last season.

But Engel's spring numbers are even better than Cordell's. He's got a .364/.429/.682 slash line with four homers, 11 runs scored, eight RBIs and four walks. Plus, he's already well known as a strong defender in center after last season's impressive glove work. Spring stats don't mean much, but it's a good sign considering how ineffective Engel was at the plate last season.

With Thursday's news and Engel's impressive spring, it seems the White Sox have things figured out in center to start the season. Engel will likely be the starting center fielder, with utility man Leury Garcia an option there in a reserve role. Cordell and Charlie Tilson, who was sent to Charlotte earlier this spring, are sure get plenty of at-bats in the minors and could be called up should Engel struggle.

Both Engel and Cordell fall into the "see what you've got" category for the rebuilding White Sox. The future of the position figures to belong to highly touted prospect Luis Robert, who was reassigned to minor league camp along with pitchers Rob Scahill and Chris Volstad on Thursday, bringing the White Sox to 32 players in big league camp. But with the team not expected to contend in 2018, Engel has an extended opportunity to figure things out at the big league level. Should he struggle, someone like Cordell or Tilson could have a similar opportunity.