By Bruce Levine–
GLENDALE, Ariz. (CBS) — White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon isn’t hurt. The team has made that much clear.
Since pitchers and catchers reported to spring training in February, the White Sox have openly spoken about their desire to take a slower approach with Rodon compared to their other rotation members. The narrative was that Rodon was being brought along at a slower pace because the front office wanted a less-than-rushed start to a longer-than-usual spring training.
On Friday, the story seemed to change.
After Rodon threw his second side session of the spring, pitching coach Don Cooper eminded reporters that Rodon went on the disabled list last July. The injury was listed as a sprained wrist, as Rodon fell in the dugout and missed two weeks. When he returned, he made one start within a month-long period.
Rodon returned to form at the end of the season with eight quality outings in his last 10 starts.
“Part of it is he had problems last year,” Cooper said. “We want to see if we can eliminate those problems. So, we set up a bit of a special schedule for him.”
Cooper was asked to clarify what he had meant by “problems.”
“Well, he wasn’t feeling good,” Cooper said. “We didn’t want to risk it, that’s what it was. He had some arm stuff that was bothering him a bit. Falling down combined with it, so it was just some stuff we want to take care of.”
Cooper anticipates Rodon will be ready for his first start in April.
“He should,” Cooper said. “If everything goes right from this moment on until the end of spring training, he should be able to make his first start, which is somewhere in the first five or six games.”
General manager Rick Hahn tried to clarify what Cooper meant by “arm stuff” going on with Rodon last summer. Hahn admitted that Rodon had some arm fatigue in 2016. He also said the trip to the DL was related only to the wrist injury.
“The fatigue was what Coop was alluding to,” Hahn said. “Rodon is on track to make his opening start of the season, from here on out.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.