The Chicago White Sox' starting rotation will be whole Thursday.
Carlos Rodón will make his return from the injured list in the White Sox' series finale with the Toronto Blue Jays, pitching for the first time since striking out 11 Chicago Cubs hitters Aug. 7.
"All the signs have been positive," White Sox manager Tont La Russa said Wednesday. "So right now, I'm certain he'll pitch."
Rodón has been on the injured list with shoulder fatigue, the White Sox taking extra caution given the left-hander's history of significant arm and shoulder injuries.
Though they'd obviously prefer to have the Cy Young candidate than not, the White Sox have their eyes on October, where Rodón figures to be a big part of their pitching plans, leading to an approach with a longer view.
"After that Cubs start, I didn’t recover quite as well as I would have liked," Rodón said last week. "I would rather be at 100 percent or close to 100 percent competing out there for my team. It was one of those decisions."
Rodón has been terrific for the South Siders this season, finally in good health and finally living up to the hype of his third-overall draft position. He owns a 2.38 ERA with 160 strikeouts in 109.2 innings across 19 starts.
His goal, of course, has been to stay healthy from the beginning of the season to the end, and this bout of shoulder fatigue doesn't count as a knock against that, not for someone who's had one season after another drastically shortened by significant injuries.
Dating all the way back to the spring, the White Sox have done what they can to buy Rodón additional days of rest, and only six of his 19 starts have come on the minimum four days of rest. He's made more starts on seven or more days of rest than he has on four.
Even this stay on the injured list comes with the silver lining of making sure Rodón, who had eclipsed 100 innings just once in the previous four seasons, is as strong as can be come the postseason, where the White Sox' rotation figures to be their greatest strength as they chase a World Series championship. The White Sox have stated their intentions to get extra rest for all of their starting pitchers over the final month of the regular season, with Rodón surely a part of that planning.
But don't worry, Rodón will be on the mound, too, and that starts Thursday in Canada, as he makes his return to strengthen the first-place White Sox even further down the stretch.