White Sox

Despite taking cautious approach, White Sox expect Carlos Rodon to be ready for regular season

Despite taking cautious approach, White Sox expect Carlos Rodon to be ready for regular season

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- They’re being cautious after he experienced fatigue in 2016, but as long as Carlos Rodon remains on track the White Sox expect he’ll be ready for the regular season.

Even though he was under the weather, Rodon threw a 35-pitch bullpen session in front of pitching coach Don Cooper at Camelback Ranch on the team’s 18th day in camp.

Strange as the scenario appears from the outside, the White Sox continue to stress they’re taking a measured approach with Rodon this spring with the expectation he’ll carry a heavy workload this season. The White Sox acknowledged for the first time Friday that Rodon experienced arm fatigue last season. But despite their cautious approach, the White Sox said Rodon’s soreness in 2016 never was serious and they have him penciled in to start this season on time.

“He’s currently is on a program, that assuming he makes all the hurdles between now and then, he should be ready to take the ball when his turn comes up the first week of the season,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “The schedule has markers along the way that have him ready to take the ball that first week.”

Rodon is scheduled to throw again on Sunday. So far he’s worked at a deliberate pace that the White Sox have compared to the schedule they used last spring with Chris Sale. After he mostly worked on backfields last March, Sale produced a career high 226 2/3 innings in 2016.

Still, there has been some question as to whether or not Rodon is completely healthy. He not only wasn’t on the same schedule as the rest of the team’s pitchers in the first week of camp, Rodon didn’t even throw the ball to first base during fielding practice.

Though he understands why the way he has been handled looks strange, Rodon insisted Sunday that he feels fine.

“We’re all good,” Rodon said. “I’m not worried so you guys shouldn’t be worried, either.

“You guys should all sleep better tonight.”

Hahn reiterated Friday that the month Rodon missed last July was strictly related to a sprained wrist and had nothing to do with fatigue. Rodon, who posted a 3.45 ERA and struck out 77 in 73 innings after he returned to action, merely altered his routine in between outings to deal with the fatigue.

“Anything that was going on with the arm last season certainly didn’t rise to the level of injury or being hurt,” Hahn said.

With Sale gone and Jose Quintana potentially soon to follow, the White Sox are hopeful Rodon can do more heavy lifting in the future. Hahn and Cooper said Friday they would like to see Rodon hit the 200-inning mark and make 32 starts.

But because of the delayed schedule, Rodon has to hit every mark the rest of the spring and that meant he had to throw on Friday despite feeling ill. Cooper said Rodon sucked it up and passed his first test “with flying colors.” He also said part of Rodon’s unique plan is in hopes of reducing the fatigue he experienced last season.

“We want to see if we can eliminate those problems so we set up a little bit of a special schedule for him,” Cooper said. “He’s starting to climb now and a couple of sidelines and a couple of batting practices just like everybody else did and we’ll continue to untrack him.”

The White Sox turned Comerica Park into a Home Run Derby in Saturday's win

The White Sox turned Comerica Park into a Home Run Derby in Saturday's win

Chicks dug the White Sox on Saturday.

The South Siders hit four home runs in their 8-3 dismantling of the Tigers at Comerica Park. Tim Anderson stayed red-hot with a pair of long balls, Jose Abreu went deep in addition to his pair of doubles, and Daniel Palka made some interesting history with his long ball (see below).

We'll let our stat guru Chris Kamka take it from here.

Since their 10-29 start the White Sox are a respectable 6-4. Days at the plate like Saturday sure help.

Charlie Tilson plays in Detroit for first time since getting injured in his MLB debut

Charlie Tilson plays in Detroit for first time since getting injured in his MLB debut

For over two years, Charlie Tilson was starting to look like his own version of "Moonlight" Graham, the player made famous in the movie "Field of Dreams" because he played in one major league game and never got to bat.

The White Sox traded for Tilson just before the trade deadline passed in 2016. Two days later he made his big league debut with the White Sox in Detroit. He got a single in his first at-bat, but left the game with an injury and missed the rest of the season. Tilson also missed all of the 2017 season and his MLB future was starting to come into question.

Back healthy, Tilson started this season in Triple-A Charlotte and hit .248 in 39 games when he got called up to replace Leury Garcia, who was placed on the disabled list. On Thursday, Tilson returned to a big league field for the first time in more than 20 months. He went 0-for-3 in a loss to Baltimore.

Friday marked a return to the site of Tilson's big league debut and the injury that made it such a brief stint. Tilson has now played three big league games, over the course of nearly 21 months, and two of them have been in Detroit.

Tilson went 1-for-4, meaning both his hits are in Comerica Park. The White Sox lost 5-4 after giving up three runs in the bottom of the eighth.