CLEVELAND — Left-hander Derek Holland said he was intrigued by the prospect of working with Don Cooper when he decided to sign a one-year deal with the White Sox during the offseason, and after going through his first spring training with the pitching coach, he’s convinced he made a good career move.
“I really have to give a lot of credit to Coop,’’ Holland said. “For getting me in the right position. I’m back to where I feel comfortable, putting less stress on the shoulder. I feel very good out there on the mound.’’
The Rangers declined the $11 million club option on Holland, who is attempting to put a difficult three-year period marked by injury behind him. The Sox signed him for $6 million, and he can earn an additional $1 million if he pitches 150 innings and another $1 million if he hits 200. Fighting shoulder and knee injuries, Holland hasn’t topped 200 since 2013 when he went 10-9 with a 3.42 ERA over a career-high 213 innings.
It’s early, but after allowing two earned runs with five strikeouts and one walk over six innings in his first start against the Twins, Holland takes the ball again Wednesday with a bright outlook for 2017.
“All I’m doing is staying back more,’’ Holland said. “If you look at video comparing me to the way I was standing last year, he has me standing taller, using my back leg and using my legs better.’’
Rodon progressing slowly
Left-hander Carlos Rodon continued on his throwing program in Arizona as he works through upper biceps bursitis, but he still hasn’t thrown off a mound, which makes a May return less probable than first thought when he was placed on the disabled list to begin the season.
General manager Rick Hahn said at the time that Rodon would be re-evaluated on or around April 10 and possibly could start throwing off a mound.
Instead, Rodon will continue to throw off flat ground and will be checked out when the Sox return home next week.
Manager Rick Renteria said Tuesday that Rodon “is feeling well” and “doing good.’’
“He’s moving along positively since we’ve had to make the adjustment with him,’’ Renteria said. “We’ll just re-evaluate him when we get back home and see where he’s at.’’
Rodon made one start during spring training. The No. 3 overall draft pick in 2014 was 9-10 with a 4.04 ERA last season, his second year in the majors.
This and that
As expected, right-hander Dylan Covey will fill Rodon’s open slot when the Sox open their series against the Twins on Friday in Minneapolis. He’ll be followed by Jose Quintana on Saturday and James Shields on Sunday.
υ Avisail Garcia went 1-for-4 in the Sox’ 2-1 loss to the Indians in 10 innings Tuesday and has hit safely in each of the first six games. He’s batting .435.
υ Designated hitter Cody Asche was 0-for-4 and is 1-for-13 to start the season while rookie center fielder Jacob May went 0-for-2 and is hitless in 14 at-bats.
υ The Sox were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
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