MESA, Ariz. — It seemed like something was wrong when Carlos Rodon didn’t make short flips to a base during fielding drills or play light catch during the start of spring training.
But Rodon and the White Sox insisted his arm was healthy. He said he wanted to ease his way in after experiencing fatigue last season.
After making his first start of the spring Sunday against the Angels, he appeared on track to start the fifth game of the season. He allowed one hit in four innings, struck out five and walked one.
After his encouraging start, he asked about being moved up to
No. 2 in the rotation to start the season.
On Thursday, though, the Sox slammed on the brakes after Rodon felt tightness in his upper left biceps. And while he said he felt well enough to make his scheduled start Friday against the A’s, he was scratched and sent for an MRI exam, which revealed no structural damage.
But general manager Rick Hahn said Rodon likely will start the season on the disabled list.
This issue is unrelated to the plan to start him slowly, Hahn said.
“No,’’ Hahn said. “I don’t know if ‘ironic’ is the right word, but we tried to come up with a plan to keep him healthy for the long term, and toward the end of this plan he expressed this discomfort [Thursday]. Again, he was feeling great with how he was coming along, with the program we had set up. Sometimes you make plans and the baseball gods laugh.’’
Hahn said left-hander David Holmberg, right-hander Tyler Danish and right-hander Dylan Covey will be used as potential fill-ins for Rodon.
“We’re going to err on the side of caution, even if it winds up costing him his first couple starts,” Hahn said. “It’s too early to speculate how long we’re going to be without Carlos. We’ll know more after he takes his further exams.”
Rodon was scratched from his scheduled start Friday.
“We need to take this step and feel more confident about the prognosis,’’ Hahn said.
Rodon also will get a second opinion next week.
“We’ll know more maybe Tuesday or so in terms of what exactly we’re dealing with,’’ Hahn said.
Manager Rick Renteria remain-ed upbeat.
“As far as we know right now, he’s OK,’’ Renteria said. “He still wanted to pitch. He was feeling great. For all of us, it’s a little bit of a surprise, but we’re going to err on the side of caution. It’s the best thing for us to do right now.’’
White Sox lose 8-2
Reliever Zach Putnam started when Rodon was scratched and was routed for five runs,three hits and two walks while recording one out. Putnam has given up 10 runs in 5 1/3 innings. Jake Petricka, Matt Purke and Jace Fry were not sharp, either, as Sox relievers allowed 15 hits and eight walks. Anthony Swarzak, fighting for a roster spot, was the bright spot with five strikeouts in 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
Saturday: Sox at Indians, Goodyear, 3:05 p.m., CSN+, Dylan Covey vs. Josh Tomlin.