White Sox

Don Cooper likes Carlos Rodon's progress, expects more

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Don Cooper likes Carlos Rodon's progress, expects more

Carlos Rodon’s strides in the bullpen are translating to the mound and while Don Cooper is pleased, he knows there is more to be done.

The White Sox pitching coach has seen the team’s prized rookie left-hander make tremendous strides this season, particularly in his routine between starts.

The effort has resulted in more consistency throwing strikes — “he’s getting better,” Cooper said — and he thinks it's good to see Rodon string together a run of starts like he has, especially in August and September. But Cooper believes Rodon can’t — and won’t — let up at this point.

“We’re all pleased with where he’s at and excited about where he might be going and excited about us having another guy who’s a quality starter,” Cooper said. “But the minute you think you’ve got something in baseball …

“He’s not where he needs to be. He’s still growing. He’s done well and we love him and he deserves the praise for his work because he’s battled through it.”

[MORE: Mike Olt to see plenty of playing time for White Sox]

Rodon has a 1.76 ERA in his last six starts, a span of 41 innings. In that time, he has walked 15 (an average of 3.29 per nine innings) down from 50 (5.32) in his first 84 2/3. Rodon has struck out 41 batters.

Both he and Cooper attribute much of the success to a brand new routine that has been refined over the course of the season. When Rodon arrived in spring training, he didn’t have a routine and was “as green as I’ve seen,” Cooper said.

They’ve since developed a three-part bullpen session that includes something akin to long toss — “just trying to feel that ride to the plate,” Rodon said — to several throw-hops off the mound before he begins to work out of the stretch. The practice has solidified along the way, both said, and Rodon likes the results.

“I had to figure (the routine) out first,” Rodon said. “Finally came up with one and feel more comfortable. It’s come together good.

“I’m more consistent in the strike zone, earlier contact and pitch count is down — all these things that really help and help the team.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Cooper believes Rodon couldn’t produce what he has on the mound without replicating it in sessions between starts. Once he routinely produces in the bullpen, Cooper can expect to see the same in games. Cooper has seen Rodon grow more comfortable and confidence and in turn he’s more consistent.

“I think things are coming together and I think we’re all getting a chance to see them during the game put that together,” Cooper said. “Everything else that goes on before, that has a big say in what’s going on.

“He’s a good kid. I like his demeanor out there and his presence and how he has a way of getting out of some things and he has another gear toward stuff and he’s fighting.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park

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AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park

For many White Sox fans, Comiskey Park was their introduction to White Sox baseball when they were young. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey, and Chris Kamka share their memories of the old ballpark. Among them: Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl, Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball, Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game, they discuss the final game ever played there and read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.

You can listen to the whole thing right here, or in the embedded player below.

8:26 - Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl.

10:11 - Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball.

12:49 - Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game

15:11 - The guys talk about the final game ever played there.

16:44 - The guys read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.

Subscribe:

'White Sox to the Letter'

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AP

'White Sox to the Letter'

Inspired by Ogden Nash’s 1949 poem “A Lineup for Yesterday”

 

A is for A.J.

Once punched in the face

If strike three ain’t caught

He’ll steal first base

 

B is for Baines

Who’s known to speak gently

When asked if he’ll homer

He said, “Evidently!”

 

C for Comiskey

The old baseball yard

When it was torn down

I took it quite hard

 

D is for Donkey

I mean Adam Dunn

He’d strike out or walk

Or hit a home run

 

E is for Eloy

He isn’t here yet

Though an All-Star career

Is still a good bet

 

F is for Fisk

The incomparable Pudge

From his perch behind home

Not an inch he would budge

 

G is for Gold

G is for Glove

Aparicio is

Who I’m thinking of

 

H is for Hawk

Unforgettable voice

Stretch! Dadgummit!

And don’t stop now boys!

 

I for Iguchi

Second base man

Won World Series

Returned to Japan

 

J is for Jackson

The legend still grows

A home run or touchdown

Only Bo knows

 

K is for Kopech

Speed, he has plenty

He’ll pile up strikeouts

In two thousand twenty

 

L is for Luke

Old Aches and Pains

Hit .388

That record remains

 

M is for Mark

As in Mister Buehrle

When he takes the mound

The game will end early

 

N is for no-no

Wilson Alvarez, Humber

Two by Mark Buehrle

Too many to number

 

O for Orestes

Miñoso’s real name

Not in the Hall

And that’s a real shame

 

P is for Paulie

He gave it his all

At the championship rally

Gave Jerry the ball

 

Q for Quintana

Kept coming up short

Only because

Of no run support

 

R is for Richie

But please call him Dick

A dangerous man

When he’s swinging the stick

 

S is for shoes

Which were not worn by Joe

In 1919

Please say it ain’t so

 

T is for Thomas

Amazing career

He went to the Hall

And brewed Big Hurt Beer

 

U for Uribe

He played everywhere

When the ball left his bat

Hands waved in the air

 

V is for Veeck

He knew how to sell

Fireworks, promotions

And Eddie Gaedel

 

W is for William

Or Bill; He was Beltin’

So hot was the corner

Third baseman was Melton

 

X is for Fox

At least the last letter

Among second basemen

Nobody was better

 

Y is for Yolmer

He has sneaky power

The master of giving

A Gatorade shower

 

Z is for Zisk

And others I missed

Unable to fit

In my White Sox list