GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Carlos Rodon has a chance to get regular work in this spring now that he knows he’ll break camp with the team.
The pitcher made a nice Cactus League debut with three scoreless innings in an 8-1 White Sox win over the San Diego Padres at Camelback Ranch on Sunday. Rodon said he missed high on a few pitches, but was mostly sharp as he struck out two and allowed a walk and a hit.
Just a year after he fought to prove himself major league ready, the left-hander is expected to start the season as the No. 3 pitcher in the White Sox rotation.
“A little more relaxed,” Rodon said. “Just know what I’m doing a little more after one year of spring training. A little more comfortable, just going out there and working on stuff. Fastball, change, trying to get better on those things and bring it into the season.”
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Catcher Alex Avila said he tried to take Rodon out of his comfort zone as they worked together for the first time. Rather than allow Rodon to rely on his slider, Avila called for more two- and four-seam fastballs. Fastball command played a big role in Rodon’s reduction in walks in the second half of his rookie season.
“All the way around nice game for us today,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Carlos, just throwing strikes. Everybody knows about his slider, getting ahead, being able to finish guys off.”
The White Sox offense got involved early as Todd Frazier doubled and scored on a Jimmy Rollins sac fly. Jose Abreu and Frazier then homered back to back in the fourth inning — both were solos — to put the White Sox ahead by three runs.
“If we can mimic each other, it’s going to be a heck of a year,” Frazier said.
Rodon headed to the bullpen and threw eight more pitches after he exited the game. He was in the clubhouse by the time Abreu and Frazier homered.
“I watched on TV when I was in there getting a workout in,” Rodon said. “That was awesome. It’s pretty cool. It’s fun to have that kind of power in the lineup. I would like to see that quite often.”