White Sox

What Carlos Rodon still needs to accomplish before he returns to White Sox

What Carlos Rodon still needs to accomplish before he returns to White Sox

TORONTO -- Carlos Rodon is almost back with the White Sox save for a few items that still remain on his checklist.

The White Sox received another good round of reports about Rodon after he made his third rehab start on Saturday night. Rodon pitched for Triple-A Charlotte and allowed three earned runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked one batter and struck out one.

Rodon is likely to make one more rehab start before the White Sox determine the next step, which would appear to be pitching in the majors barring a setback. After clearing a number of physical hurdles along the way, Rodon appears to have reached the fine-tuning point of his rehab assignment.

“The biggest thing for all of us right now that we’re really happy with is he’s healthy,” manager Rick Renteria said. “We want him to use his breaking ball a little more down there, mix in all of his pitches, so he when he does join us he’s fully capable of doing what he did in the past.”

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The White Sox hoped Rodon could provide them with 32 starts and 200 innings this season until he was slowed down late in spring training. He started the season on the disabled list with bursitis in his left shoulder and was transferred to the 60-day DL in early May around the same time that he finally moved back onto the mound. Rodon has since made steady progress, including throwing a simulated game in front of Renteria, Rick Hahn and Don Cooper when the club was in Arizona last month. He made his first rehab start on June 11.

Rodon’s return would be significant for a White Sox rotation that has seen four injuries this season. The group entered Sunday with quality starts in only five of its last 25 games.  

“He felt good,” Renteria said. “He physically felt good. He’s still a little elevated, threw more strikes. He is really close. Hopefully he continues to work on attacking the zone, getting his pitch count up and his innings up, and we’ll see him here I’m sure down the road after everybody is comfortable with where he’s at.”

The baseball world reacts to the Yasmani Grandal signing

The baseball world reacts to the Yasmani Grandal signing

The White Sox signing Yasmani Grandal broke suddenly and unexpectedly.

It wasn’t a big surprise that the White Sox would go after him, but the timing and the fact that the White Sox broke the news on their own (a la the Jose Quintana trade) caught people off guard.

Once the dust settled, the White Sox were in the national spotlight as far as the baseball world was concerned.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan got Ken Williams on the record before the White Sox had conference calls on the signing. Williams makes it sound like it’s go-time for the South Siders.


Passan also gave a look at a potential White Sox lineup for 2020 once prospects Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal eventually join. We also made our own.


The Athletic’s Jayson Stark was impressed with how early the signing was. White Sox fans will enjoy that after going through the long, drawn out Manny Machado/Bryce Harper sagas last offseason.

Here are some Grandal stats that should get White Sox fans fired up about his addition (if they weren’t already).


Finally, is it time to talk playoffs? Long way to go, but the White Sox offseason is off to a notable start.


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What does Yasmani Grandal’s addition mean for the White Sox at DH?

What does Yasmani Grandal’s addition mean for the White Sox at DH?

The White Sox have a brand-spanking new catcher.

What they still don’t have is a new designated hitter. Maybe.

Grandal will be the team’s backstop, first and foremost, after signing a four-year deal that at $73 million is the richest in team history, but he might end up helping Rick Hahn solve the equation at DH, too. Like any catcher, he isn’t expected to throw on the gear and squat for nine innings on a daily basis. But he carries a big enough stick that the White Sox will want him in their lineup as often as possible. An appearance at DH every once in a while would be a good way to do just that.

But Grandal might wind up just one part of a multifaceted DH puzzle. He can also play first base, after all, appearing there in 20 games for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019. Jose Abreu is ticketed for the daily duties at that spot in 2020, but Hahn said last week that Abreu will play some DH, like he did in 2019. When Abreu needs a day off his feet, Grandal can play first base.

And then there are the team’s other catchers, James McCann and Zack Collins. While the kind of offensive output they’ll churn out in 2020 remains a mystery — one of the big reasons Grandal’s addition makes so much sense — rosters expanding to hold 26 players could mean they both stay on the big league roster, even with Grandal in the fold. On days Grandal is behind the plate, perhaps Rick Renteria will utilize them as DH options.

"It gives us options there," Hahn said Thursday. "But it's Nov. 21. We've got a lot of offseason left. So let's see what else comes together over the coming months, and if in fact it winds up where Zack or a combination of Yasmani and James in the DH spot is the best option, then we'll see how that works out.

"It's a little too early to say that's exactly how it'll line up come late March."

It’s the rest of that offseason that could present the White Sox with Door No. 3.

Designated hitter has been one of the items on Hahn’s to-do list since the offseason began, and he said just last week that the solution to the hole there — where the White Sox had some of the worst production in the American League — would likely be an external one.

Grandal counts as an external fix, but perhaps there’s a more everyday route the White Sox could go in free agency or via trade to add some thump to the lineup. Grandal is the kind of addition that makes the White Sox transitioning from rebuilding to contending in 2020 look more realistic. While other moves would need to happen to make that more of a certainty, there’s the possibility of the team adding enough that a short-term fix at DH would make sense.

That’s all down the road, of course.

Nothing might be set in stone at DH at the moment, even after Thursday’s big signing. But among the many things Grandal brings to the South Side is that versatility, providing the White Sox with a number of paths to travel down in search of a solution.

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