White Sox

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.”