White Sox

White Sox: Carlos Rodon slips on dugout steps, lands on 15-day disabled list

White Sox: Carlos Rodon slips on dugout steps, lands on 15-day disabled list

White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon said he slipped coming up the third base dugout steps at U.S. Cellular Field for the national anthem prior to Friday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, caught himself with his left hand and sprained his left wrist. The 23-year-old starting pitcher, who will have to wear a brace on his left wrist for seven to 10 days, was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to July 6) on Saturday. 

“I was coming out of the dugout and I slipped on to the field and tried to catch myself,” Rodon said. “I’m not going to lie, I was a little embarrassed. I was like, ‘I hope no one saw that.’ I got out there and was like just laughing when the anthem was going on. I came back in and sat down and I was like, ‘uhh, alright, this kind of hurts a little bit.’” 

Rodon only hopes to miss one start — he said he was scheduled to pitch in the White Sox second series after the All-Star break against the Seattle Mariners — and, if all goes well, the 2014 No. 3 overall pick wants to come off the disabled list for a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers July 21-24. 

“It’s unfortunate,” manager Robin Ventura said. “Hopefully it’s not going to be anything that lingers past this two weeks. It’s something you deal with it and somebody else is going to have to fill his spot when we start back up after the break.”

[MORE WHITE SOX: Jose Quintana will start first game after All-Star break]

The White Sox called up right-handed reliever Tommy Kahnle to take Rodon’s place on the 25-man roster Saturday, but will have to bring up a starter from the minor leagues to make at least one start. With the team’s 40-man roster full, Rodon’s replacement likely would come from that group. Right-handers Scott Carroll (5.27 ERA in 56 1/3 innings with Triple-A Charlotte), Anthony Ranaudo (3.27 ERA in 77 innings between time with Triple-A Round Rock and Triple-A Charlotte) and Tyler Danish (5.50 ERA in 86 2/3 innings between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte) all could be options. 

Rodon won’t be able to throw a baseball until he gets his brace off. While he and the White Sox hope he’ll only miss a single start, there’s no guarantee that’ll be the case given he’ll have to throw in some capacity before coming off the disabled list. 

“You are not going to come in after two weeks (off),” Ventura said. “I don’t know when he’s going to start back up actually throwing. I know for at least for a week he’s not going to be throwing a baseball. After that, you figure it out how he’s going to ramp it back up to be able to go back out there.

“Most guys are going to throw over the break. You have something that keeps them going. With Carlos, we’ll have to wait and see how it feels.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Rodon, who underwent an X-Ray Friday that revealed his sprained wrist, has a 4.50 ERA with 91 strikeouts, 32 walks and 15 home runs allowed in 16 starts covering 92 innings this season. The home runs have been a big problem — he only allowed 11 in 139 1/3 innings as a rookie last season.

Perhaps Rodon can use his time off to mentally regroup a bit, but that’s not what the 23-year-old wants at this point. 

“I didn’t really want a mental break,” Rodon said. “I wanted to come back and start when I had to.”

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

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USA TODAY

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

PHOENIX, Ariz. — One of the White Sox prized prospects will be on the shelf for a little while.

Outfielder Micker Adolfo has a sprained UCL in his right elbow and a strained flexor tendon that could require surgery. He could avoid surgery, though he could be sidelined for at least six weeks.

Though he hasn’t received the same high rankings and media attention as fellow outfield prospects Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, Adolfo is considered a part of the White Sox promising future. He’s said to have the best outfield arm in the White Sox system.

Adolfo had a breakout season in 2017, slashing .264/.331/.453 with 16 homers and 68 RBIs in 112 games with Class A Kannapolis.

Adolfo, along with Jimenez and Robert, has been generating buzz at White Sox camp in Glendale, with a crowd forming whenever the trio takes batting practice. Earlier this week, the three described their conversation dreaming about playing together in the same outfield for a contending White Sox team in the future.

As Cactus League play begins, how many spots are actually up for grabs on the White Sox roster?

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AP

As Cactus League play begins, how many spots are actually up for grabs on the White Sox roster?

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Some teams have it easy, with their 25-man rosters seemingly locked into place before spring training games even start.

The White Sox actually have a lot more locked-down spots than you might think for a rebuilding team, but this spring remains pretty important for a few guys.

The starting rotation figures to be set, with James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Miguel Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer the starting five. Carlos Rodon, of course, owns one of those spots once he returns from injury. But the date of that return remains a mystery.

From this observer’s viewpoint, eight of the everyday nine position players seem to be figured out, too: Welington Castillo behind the plate, Jose Abreu at first base, Yoan Moncada at second base, Tim Anderson at shortstop, Yolmer Sanchez at third base, Nicky Delmonico in left field, Avisail Garcia in right field and Matt Davidson as the designated hitter. More on the omission of a starting center fielder in a bit.

Omar Narvaez would be a logical pick to back up Castillo at catcher, and Tyler Saladino is really the lone reserve infielder with big league experience, not to mention he’s a versatile player that can play anywhere on the infield.

Leury Garcia also figures to be a lock for this 25-man roster. But will he be the everyday center fielder, as he was for a spell last season? He played 51 games in center in 2017 but battled injuries throughout the year. I think Leury Garcia will end up the starting center fielder when the season begins because of his bat. His .270/.316/.423 slash line isn’t going to make anyone do cartwheels, but it’s better than the offensive struggles of Adam Engel, who started 91 games in center in 2017 and slashed .166/.235/.282. Engel would still be a solid inclusion on the bench because of his superb defense, but to create that big a hole in the everyday lineup is tough.

How could that position-player group change? Keep your eyes in center field, where there are a couple other guys who could force their way into a roster spot this spring: Charlie Tilson and Ryan Cordell. Tilson has had a tremendous amount of trouble staying on the field since coming over to the White Sox in a 2016 deadline deal, but that hasn’t dampened the White Sox hopes for him. And Cordell got name-dropped by general manager Rick Hahn during SoxFest, when the GM said he’s received multiple calls about Cordell since acquiring him last summer. Cordell put up good numbers at the Triple-A level prior to a significant injury last year.

But the main battles figure to be in the bullpen. At times this winter, as the White Sox kept adding players to that relief corps mix, that the whole thing seemed wide open. But when you think about it, maybe there are only one or two open spots.

You’d have to think these guys are pretty safe bets to make the team: Juan Minaya, Gregory Infante, Nate Jones, Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan. Though Hector Santiago was just recently acquired on a minor league deal, he’s really the only long man of the group, and he could sub in if there’s an injury to a starting pitcher. That leaves two spots between the group of Aaron Bummer, Danny Farquhar, Jace Fry, Jose Ruiz and Thyago Vieira — not to mention guys signed to minor league deals like Xavier Cedeno, Jeanmar Gomez and Bruce Rondon.

Bummer had a 4.50 ERA in 30 big league games last year. Farquhar had a 4.40 ERA in 15 games. Vieira has gotten attention as a flame-thrower, but he’s got just one big league game under his belt, something that might or might not matter to the rebuilding White Sox. Guys like Gomez, who has 40 career saves including 37 just two years ago, and Rondon, who had multiple shots at the Detroit Tigers’ closing job in the past, could vault themselves into the mix as potential midseason trade candidates.

Then there's the question of which of those guys will be Rick Renteria's closer. Minaya had closing duties after most of the bullpen was traded away last summer. He picked up nine saves and posted a 4.11 ERA in his final 17 appearances of the campaign. Look to Soria, though, a veteran with plenty of closing experience from his days with the Kansas City Royals. If he's given the opportunity to close and succeeds, he could fetch an intriguing return package in a potential deadline deal.

But now it's game time in Arizona.

“The fun part of playing the game of baseball is playing the game of baseball," Renteria said earlier this week. "We prepare. I think they all enjoy what they’re doing in terms of their preparation. They take it seriously, they focus. But ultimately like everything that we do in life, I guess it’s a test. And the games are a test for us on a daily basis. And how we are able to evaluate them and take advantage of the opportunities that we have to see them in a real game situation is certainly helpful for us.”