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.
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.”