GLENDALE, Ariz. — Just wondering: Will we see Carlos Rodon on the mound in an actual game this spring? Or ever?
The Sox haven’t shared the timetable for getting the 24-year-old left-hander his first start, probably because there isn’t one yet. Rodon is being brought along slowly after dealing with arm fatigue last season, his second in the Sox rotation, when he pitched 165 innings over 28 starts.
He threw 40 pitches of batting practice Wednesday, focusing on fastball and changeup location, and will do something similar on Saturday. After that?
“I think from that point we can safely assess how we’re going, whether it’s going to be one more BP or get back out there,” manager Rick Renteria said.
Renteria did say Rodon likely will be in the No. 5 spot of the team’s rotation to start the season, if only because the meat of his spring workload had been pushed back.
“I’m in the rotation,so I know I’m going to be pitching in April,” Rodon said. “It’s spring training. We’re getting ready. People sometimes don’t realize that. The guys in the [batter’s] box are getting ready, and we’re getting ready. Spring training is just a time for us to get ready.”
Was there really any confusion about that?
Tilson ‘getting ready to go’
Charlie Tilson’s patience is wearing thin. Really, how couldn’t it be?
The center fielder injured a hamstring in his major league debut last August and had to have season-ending surgery. He reported to spring training with the inside track on a starting job before hurting his right foot, a stress reaction that has kept him out of all games since.
Renteria still won’t say when the 24-year-old from Wilmette will be out on the field. Tilson told the Sun-Times on Wednesday that by this time next week, he’ll be on the field for the real thing.
“For sure,” he said.
But then he added: “Well, or close.”
“Yeah, I’m frustrated,” he said. “Youdon’t want to keep seeing your boys out there and you can’t be there to help them out. It’s a frustrating feeling. But it’s still early. I keep reminding myself that it’s a long season, and when I get that clearance and my body’s ready, I won’t have to look back.”
A speed guy who in 2013 was rated the fastest player in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization by Baseball America, Tilson has worried some along the way that his greatest asset might be compromised. Fortunately, all seems well on that front.
“I would honestly say I’m still moving quicker than I would’ve anticipated,” he said. “My body has responded well. That’s a good thing, right? Obviously, this little hiccup with my foot is frustrating, but I’m getting over it and getting ready to go.”
Follow me on Twitter @slgreenberg.