GLENDALE, Ariz. — A little rain canceled the White Sox’ split-squad games Tuesday, but it didn’t stop left-hander Carlos Rodon from getting in a throwing session.
Rodon, who was supposed to pitch against the Mariners, stayed on schedule and threw an estimated 85 pitches in the batting cages.
While some pitchers would prefer the game-day atmosphere, Rodon said he feels he gets more out of that setting.
“[It’s] better than throwing in the game because I can get the input from the catcher and the hitter as far as where I need to start pitches, where they need to end up and what it looks like coming out of my hand,” he said.
Manager Rick Renteria said he’ll announce the Sox’ rotation next week and indicated it’ll be similar to what has been largely speculated. Rodon is expected to start Opening Day, and Reynaldo Lopez, Ivan Nova and Lucas Giolito likely will follow.
The Sox don’t need to make a decision on the fifth spot yet because they have several days off during the first few weeks of the season. Right-hander Ervin Santana is a leading candidate for that spot, though it’s unlikely he’ll be ready to pitch at the start of the season because he hasn’t thrown in a Cactus League game. If Santana isn’t ready by the time the Sox need a fifth starter, then left-hander Manny Banuelos likely will hold down the fort.
Banuelos, whom the Sox acquired in a trade in November, is a probable pitcher for the game Wednesday against the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch.
Monitoring the catcher situation
With Omar Narvaez out of the picture after being traded in November, Renteria still hasn’t figured out what he’s going to do behind the plate.
The Sox signed James McCann to a one-year deal to add depth. McCann and Welington Castillo, who played in the second-most games among Sox catchers last season, have gotten their fair share of time catching in camp.
After evaluating them during the first three weeks of spring training, Renteria says there’s a good chance McCann and Castillo will share time behind the plate.
“Those two guys are pretty good at what they do,” Renteria said. “[We’ll] continue to find combos that work well.”