Postponements have become a little too familiar to the White Sox of late.
The Sox had a home game against the Royals washed away by rain two weeks ago. Two games were then postponed in Baltimore due to the rioting near the ballpark, and Friday’s series opener against the Reds was also rained out. It will be made up as part of a straight doubleheader Saturday starting at 3:10 p.m.
“Nobody likes rainouts, especially this early,” Ventura said from the dugout Friday as rain began to fall at U.S. Cellular Field. “Especially as many as we’ve had. You don’t mind one maybe in August, but this might be a little overkill.”
As familiar as the storyline has become, there will be some new things to watch for on the South Side over the next few days.
First there’s Carlos Rodon, the pitching prospect drafted third overall by the White Sox in 2014, who will make his first Major League start in Game 2 Saturday in place of the suspended Jeff Samardzija. Also, Jose Abreu may see some time at third base next week, and Ventura hopes to get his underused bench more involved.
Rodon’s spot start probably will not affect his role as a reliever. He figures to rejoin the bullpen after Saturday’s start, even if he dazzles.
Rodon made a shaky relief appearance on April 21 shortly after joining the majors, but he’s been solid in four innings since. The left-hander has allowed no runs, one walk and struck out three in his last two appearances.
“I’m definitely comfortable after two weeks,” Rodon said. “I’m used to coming out here, the schedule and everything.”
As for Abreu, Ventura wants to keep his bat in the lineup along with Adam LaRoche when the Sox visit Milwaukee next week for an interleague series, so a move to third base may be in the works.
Abreu said he has played more than 50 games at third base in his career but hasn’t played the position in at least five years.
“If it is the best for the team, I will be very glad to do it,” Abreu said. “That’s it. I’m always trying to help the team in whatever the team needs me to help them.”
The bench has been the biggest victim of the postponements since all of the extra time away has made giving starters a day off unnecessary.
J.B. Schuck made a few starts when Adam Eaton was out with the flu, and on Thursday Gordon Beckham filled in for Conor Gillaspie, who was out with a minor foot injury, Ventura said.
Ventura also hopes to get Emilio Bonifacio, who hasn’t started a game since April 17, a spot start soon.
“The games that were canceled, the rainouts and things like that, it’s been tough,” Ventura said. “You’re trying to figure out a way to get some guys in there to get some at-bats and win the game at the same time.”