GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Carlos Rodon threw two sessions of 20 pitches in live batting practice on Wednesday, and will do the same Saturday as the White Sox ease the left-hander into preparations for the 2017 season.
While the White Sox don't have a timetable of when Rodon will make his first Cactus League start, manager Rick Renteria said Wednesday the club will assess the next step for the 24-year-old after he throws Saturday. But what Renteria said was "probably accurate" is that Rodon will be slotted into the back end of the rotation and make his 2017 regular season debut around the fifth or sixth game in April.
Renteria added that having Rodon, who experienced fatigue in 2016, start the season on the disabled list is "not something that I'm anticipating." The White Sox have cautiously brought Rodon along this spring with the expectation he'll carry an increased workload this summer.
Rodon said he worked on his fastball and changeup on Wednesday, just trying to get those two pitches over the plate as he faced hitters -- albeit, in batting practice -- for the first time this spring.
"I know nothing has changed," Rodon said. "I'm in the rotation, so I know I'm going to be pitching in April. It's spring training. We're getting ready. Sometimes people don't realize that. Those guys in the box are getting ready, and we're getting ready. Spring training is the time to get ready and then just build on that."
All systems go for Frazier
Todd Frazier (sprained finger) started at third base in his Cactus League debut on Wednesday, lining out in his first at-bat and striking out in his second over four innings against the Milwaukee Brewers.
"It felt good, felt good," Frazier said. "I was excited today. I haven't played in how many months, five, maybe? So it felt good to get out there, chatted with the boys and had one good at-bat. Trying to square balls up right now. I felt pretty good that first at-bat."
The 31-year-old Frazier estimated he needs 25-30 at-bats to get ready for the season.
Quick hits from today’s game (Brewers 5, White Sox 4):
-- Avisail Garcia socked a home run to right-center in the second inning, singled twice and made two sparkling defensive plays in right field. On the first one, he raced to his left and tracked down a fly ball near the right field foul line, on the second, he made a diving catch on a sinking line drive to take away a hit. Garcia also was caught stealing.
-- Carson Fulmer said he feels "really good at this point" after firing three innings on Wednesday. The 2015 first-round pick allowed one run on two hits (with the damage being done on a Lewis Brinson home run) with one walk and two strikeouts.
-- The brilliantly mustachioed Tyler Saladino hit a two-run home run and Rymer Liriano added a solo shot to provide the rest of the White Sox offense. Adam Engel made a spectacular diving catch in center, too, flashing excellent range and good instincts.