White Sox not rushing Carlos Rodon’s return, share plans to expand netting

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The White Sox are being cautious with Carlos Rodon’s shoulder recovery. | Paul Beaty/Associated Press

The White Sox are taking the cautious route in left-hander Carlos Rodon’s recovery, and it’s more than likely he won’t be ready by Opening Day.

Rodon had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder in September. At the time, the Sox predicted Rodon would be out six to eight months. The latter prognosis appears more likely.

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General manager Rick Hahn said there’s no hurry to get Rodon back in the rotation before he’s ready.

“We’re going through this process as cautiously as we need to be,” Hahn said Friday. “We have enough depth in the rotation that we can take [however] much time Carlos needs to be right.”

With Rodon likely missing the start of the season, the rotation could be made up of five right-handers: Carson Fulmer, Lucas Giolito, Miguel Gonzalez, Reynaldo Lopez and James Shields.

Hahn said the team’s priority is Rodon’s future.

“[Rodon’s recovery] is similar to other elements of the operation: This is about the long term,” Hahn said. “This isn’t about getting Carlos back for an extra two or three starts; this is about putting him in the best position for the next four years.”

Rodon, 25, said he’s eager to get back on the mound, but he’s also looking at the big picture.

“What’s a month now if you gain a year later?” Rodon said.

Rodon said he hasn’t had any major setbacks during his rehabilitation process. He has been doing physical therapy with bands and recently started doing plyometrics and throwing a weighted ball at the wall.

A doctor cleared Rodon to start a throwing program next week.

Plans to expand

The Sox will extend their protective netting down to the end of both dugouts at Guaranteed Rate Field. The project is expected to be done by Opening Day.

The conversation about extending the netting to protect fans reached a crescendo last year when a little girl was struck by a foul ball hit by Todd Frazier at Yankee Stadium. The Cubs also found themselves in legal trouble after a fan, left blind in his left eye from a foul liner, filed a lawsuit against the team and Major League Baseball in October.

“Everybody is heading in that direction,’’ Sox vice president of communications Scott Reifert said. ‘‘It’s just how you install it and keep it a fan experience. Major League Baseball is looking at different colors of netting.”

Radio home needed

The Sox are looking for a new radio home. They were locked into a six-year deal (from 2016 through 2021) with WLS-AM (890), but as of Feb. 1, the Sox will need to find a new home after Cumulus Media, WLS’ parent company, filed for bankruptcy and asked a New York court to allow it out of the deal.

Vice president of marketing Brooks Boyer said the Sox already have started looking for a new station.

“We’re having those conversations,” Boyer said. “We’ve only got a couple of weeks. We’re moving quickly to get something done.”

Follow me on Twitter @madkenney.

Email: mkenney@suntimes.com

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