As was announced on Friday of SoxFest, Carlos Rodon has been cleared to start throwing following his shoulder surgery in September. Admittedly, that still leaves his timeline up in the air, but it seems like the White Sox are being a bit more upfront thais time around. When last winter brought concerns about Rodon’s health, the Sox basically responded with “Psssh.” Then Rodon didn’t make his first start until June 28, and he lasted only 12 outings before going back on the shelf.
The initial timeline for recovery from this surgery was 6-8 months, which would have put Rodon on track for a return anywhere from Opening Day to early June. As things stand, we might be looking at the second half of that range, as Rodon acknowledges that starting the season in the rotation is most likely pushing it. Still, to have him throwing in January is a good sign that nothing further has gone wrong.
Rodon still has four years of team control, and the hope is that he’ll be a key cog on the next White Sox playoff team, but he’s still yet to put it all together after showing flashes of brilliance in his first 2½ seasons. For now, there’s no need to rush his return, because that playoff team is still a couple years away, so “Patience” will be the word of the year. In Rodon’s absence, Carson Fulmer will likely get one more chance to prove his mettle as a starter behind James Shields, Miguel Gonzalez, Lucas Giolito, and Reynaldo Lopez.
Picks to Click
- Over the weekend, the Sox signed left-hander Xavier Cedeño to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. He’ll be another bullpen candidate from the left side, joining Luis Avilan and Aaron Bummer. Cedeño has held left-handed hitters to a .220/.286/.299 mark in his career, though he should not be allowed to face righties.
- The Brewers did some heavy lifting last week, acquiring Christian Yelich from Miami and signing Lorenzo Cain to a five-year deal on the same day. BP has an in-depth look at these moves and what they mean for Milwaukee. Although the Yelich trade cost them a bounty, including top prospect Lewis Brinson, that remade team looks ready to challenge the Cubs in the NL Central. They could probably still use some rotation help, though, and they’ve been absent from the most recent Yu Darvish rumors.
- Travis Sawchik at FanGraphs wrote about the gradual shrinking of foul territory in MLB ballparks, a product of new seating closer to the field and fewer multi-use parks. (Just look at Oakland Coliseum for why this is important.) This obviously benefits players who hit a lot of pop-ups by turning some outs into foul balls.
- Finally, some sad news today: former Padres and Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers passed away this morning at the age of 56 after a battle with thyroid cancer. He’s received kind words all around baseball today for generally being a great guy, and it’s clear he’ll be sorely missed.