GLENDALE, Ariz. — On the second day of the Cactus League schedule, Carlos Rodon still hadn’t pitched off a mound. All in good time, he said. There’s no cause for concern, he insisted.
The White Sox are bringing the big lefty they view as a fixture in their rotation along slowly with the intent of keeping him strong to the finish of a hoped-for 200-inning season. Again, he said he’s healthy — and is persuasive in saying so — but he understands why there might be cause for concern.
“Yeah, I get it. I totally understand,” Rodon said Sunday. “No, we’re good. We’re all good. You guys have nothing to worry about. I’m not worried, so you guys shouldn’t be worried, either.”
Rodon is still in a long-toss phase of his throwing plan, saying he feels “very good.”
“We’re just trying to get it stretched out more,” Rodon said. “Take a couple more, and I think next week we’ll get on a mound.
“We’re in no rush. We have time. All of this is to be ready for a long season and a bigger workload. That’s what it’s for.”
Brett Lawrie said he’s trying to get the “little kinks” out of whatever is ailing in his lower half. The infielder didn’t get on the field for a second consecutive day.
“It’s not necessarily sore; it’s nothing that’s grabbing at me or anything like that,’’ Lawrie said. “It’s just how everything is sitting and needs to be aligned, that’s all.”
The official word from the Sox is that Lawrie has muscle discomfort in his lower body.
Lawrie, who last played July 21, went on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, then dealt with a chain reaction of physical issues that he would later attribute to orthotics.
“I want to be right where I want to be in order to get on the field,” Lawrie said. “This last part has been tough, but I’m just continuing to push through and I want to be out on the field and be 100 percent and just have to worry about baseball and not have to worry about this.
“Before I get out there, I just want to make sure that everything is cleared up.”
Hawkins enjoying the moment
It has been five years already since the Sox made power-hitting outfielder Courtney Hawkins their first high school first-round draft pick in 11 years. Hawkins has 67 homers, and an ongoing high strikeout rate in the minors and a .203/.255/.349 slash line at Class AA Birmingham last season suggest his clock is ticking.
“It’s one of those things where you have to enjoy the moment,” Hawkins, 23, said. “I’m just happy I’m here playing ball. I’m happy to be a part of this, what they have going. Whatever is asked of me at this point, I’m ready to hop on board.”
Hawkins, who started in left field and went 0-for-2 in the Sox’ Cactus League game against the Rockies, looks fit. He lost 10-15 pounds during the offseason.
“Just trying to come in and stay healthy,” he said. “I know everyone says this, but it holds true for me: I just have to stay with the process.’’
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