White Sox

Shoulder stiffness minutes before start leads to frustrating turn for Carlos Rodon

Shoulder stiffness minutes before start leads to frustrating turn for Carlos Rodon

Carlos Rodon didn’t need very long on Thursday night to know the way he felt wasn’t right.

The White Sox pitcher is headed for the examination room and an MRI on Friday morning after he was scratched with left shoulder stiffness 25 minutes before first pitch of an 11-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Rodon -- who missed three months earlier this season with bursitis in his left biceps -- had just begun his pregame warmup Thursday when he informed the White Sox he didn’t feel right. It’s a frustrating turn for Rodon, who had pitched and felt good since he returned from the disabled list at the end of June.

“Just starting to play catch, knew right then,” Rodon said. “Yeah, I felt really good. That’s what I’m saying, it’s like a rollercoaster going on right now. It felt really good and it just spurts up on us.”

White Sox manager Rick Renteria was caught off-guard by the news as was veteran Mike Pelfrey, who learned 20 minutes before the game he would start. Pelfrey, who threw 45 pitches on Tuesday, lasted four innings. Renteria said he didn’t want to force Rodon into action after what he’s experienced.

“Just thought instead of pushing him, use caution and take him out,” Renteria said. “He's made his last few starts. So this was a surprise obviously, to everybody.”

Rodon said the decision to shut down Thursday was a precautionary measure after he felt tightness in his shoulder. The left-hander had shown no signs of trouble since he returned to the mound a little over two months ago after a frustrating three-month rehab full of ups and downs.

Rodon had gone 2-5 with a 4.15 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings for the White Sox this season. He also had made his starts, 12 in all, without a hitch.

But prior to his return, Rodon’s buildup process fluctuated after he was sidelined in late March following his only spring training start. Rodon had an MRI and multiple opinions after the spring training episode, which kept him from throwing off a mound until early May. Even then, Rodon’s progress wasn’t linear and took longer than he expected.  

“I can’t really put a finger on it,” Rodon said. “Just a day you just don’t feel right and you know you don’t want to be -- you don’t want to compete when you’re not at your best, you know.”

“It’s tough. It’s frustrating. Things happen. You just move on from this.”

“It’s been up and down. Had some good starts. Now we’re fumbling it.

“I’ll see how it goes tomorrow and go from there.”

Will Ozzie Guillen ever manage again? 'I think my time's going to come up, maybe'

Will Ozzie Guillen ever manage again? 'I think my time's going to come up, maybe'

Will Ozzie Guillen ever manage again?

He was the guy who helped bring a World Series championship to the South Side in 2005 hasn't been a big league skipper since 2012, in his one ill-fated season managing the Miami Marlins. But his name has come up as a social-media suggestion for open jobs for years, including just two winters ago when the White Sox needed to replace Robin Ventura.

But Guillen, who spent eight seasons as the White Sox manager, said on the latest edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast that he hasn't interviewed for any jobs since leaving the Marlins and discussed the trend of hiring young managers who just recently finished their playing careers.

"A couple tried, not to interview me but say, 'Can we talk to you about it?' And I knew I'm not going to be the manager of that team," Guillen told NBC Sports Chicago's Chuck Garfien. "When you look at the manager list, you're going to interview me and you have kid, kid, kid, kid, kid, Ozzie. What's the chance I'm going to manage that team? None. 'Thank you for thinking about me,' and it's cool.

"I've known I'm not going to be the guy because the list. Before, they interview you for a managing job, it's two or three or four guys. Now they've got 30. Nowadays, it's harder to become a manager than win the World Series. Because there are so many interviews.

But does that mean he'll never manage again?

"I think my time's going to come up, maybe," Guillen said. "I always think about (former Florida Marlins manager) Jack McKeon. Jack McKeon was out of baseball for 30 years and all of a sudden came out and won the World Series (in 2003). ... I hope I don't die before that. Jack was 70-plus when he was managing. But we'll see."

Guillen talked about his hopes to be more involved in the White Sox organization after the way his tenure ended back in 2011, saying he hopes to be at spring training with the team one day.

"I'd like to go to spring training with them, that's the first time I'm going to say that, just because I see everybody in baseball, they're bringing former players to the field," he said. "But the problem is, I go there, here we go. 'Why is it ... you're coming here?'

"I don't (want to be a distraction), and I never will be."

Hear more of Garfien's interview with Guillen on the White Sox Talk Podcast.

Eighteen White Sox questions for 2018: Will Avisail Garcia be on the White Sox by season's end?


Eighteen White Sox questions for 2018: Will Avisail Garcia be on the White Sox by season's end?

White Sox fans might have their eyes on the future, but the 2018 season has plenty of intrigue all its own. As Opening Day nears, let's take a look at the 18 most pressing questions for the 2018 edition of the South Side baseball team.

Avisail Garcia was great last year for the White Sox.

But does that mean he's a long-term part of this rebuilding team or a potential trade piece?

How Garcia follows things up in 2018 will go a long way in determining the answer to that question, as well as a perhaps more pressing one: Will Garcia still be on the White Sox when the 2018 campaign comes to a close?

Whatever your scouting-eye impressions might have been, statistically, Garcia was one of baseball's best hitters last season. He ranked second in the American League with a .346 batting average. Only league MVP Jose Altuve ranked above Garcia. The White Sox right fielder also ranked sixth in the AL with a .380 on-base percentage. His .885 OPS ranked in the top 10 in the Junior Circuit.

It was the much-anticipated breakout for a guy who's had big expectations ever since he hit the bigs as a 21-year-old in 2012, when he carried a pressure-packed comparison to Detroit Tigers teammate and future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera. After coming to the South Side in a mid-2013 trade, his first three seasons were impacted by injuries and featured an unimpressive .250/.308/.380 slash line with only 32 homers in 314 games.

But last season, that all changed. He had a career year, slashing .330/.380/.506 with 18 homers, 80 RBIs, 27 doubles and 171 hits. Garcia was named to the AL All-Star team and established himself as the second best hitter on a team where the best hitter, Jose Abreu, is one of baseball's most productive and most consistent.

So can he do it again? That remains to be seen, of course. The scale of the improvements in so many statistical categories make one think that Garcia being able to do it two years in a row would almost be as surprising or more surprising than him doing it just once.

But if Garcia can repeat his performance, at least in the season's first few months, he could potentially draw the eyes of numerous contending teams looking for a bat to add to their lineups. One season of production perhaps wasn't enough to demand the kind of return package Rick Hahn's front office got in return for Chris Sale, Adam Eaton and Jose Quintana. But a few good months at the outset of 2018 could draw plenty of interest, making the question of whether Garcia will stay in a White Sox uniform for the entirety of the season a valid one.

All that being said, Garcia's situation — he's under team control for two more seasons — allows the White Sox to be flexible. Garcia's still young, entering his age-27 season. The White Sox could opt to keep a talented hitter, extend him and make him a part of the rebuilding effort, penciling him into the lineup of the future alongside younger hitters like Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert. Or they could wait to move him, perhaps next offseason or at the 2019 trade deadline.

But Garcia's performance will dictate how viable each of those options ends up being. He finally put it all together in 2017. In 2018, he'll have to keep it all together.