White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon welcomes extra days of rest


Carlos Rodon of the White Sox delivers a changeup against the Tigers Friday in Detroit. (Getty Images)

BALTIMORE — Left-hander Carlos Rodon will pitch on six days of rest when the White Sox play the Tigers to open a 10-game homestand Friday. Even this early in the season, Rodon is welcoming the extra rest.

‘‘I’ll take it,’’ he said. ‘‘I think it only helps, especially this early in the season, spacing things out to pitch the whole year.’’

The Sox shuffled their rotation after getting rained out Saturday in Detroit, in part with Rodon (3-2, 2.89 ERA) in mind, manager Rick Renteria said.

‘‘I knew it would be music to his ears,’’ pitching coach Don Cooper said. ‘‘Take them now [because] you might not get another one later [with a stretch of 37 games in 38 days starting Friday].’’

Rodon’s career high in innings is 165 in 2016, and he expects to surpass that in 2019.

‘‘It’s a long season, and it’s April right now,’’ he said. ‘‘To get a couple of extra days in early helps in the long run. Arm is still trying to catch up. I’ve been throwing pretty well, and these extra days will help.’’

According to Brooks Baseball, Rodon’s career velocity norm for his four-seam fastball is 93 to 94 mph. He averaged 91 mph in his last outing Friday against the Tigers after averaging a season-best 93 mph in the start before that against the Yankees.

‘‘I feel pretty good,’’ Rodon said. ‘‘I know the velocity was down the last start, but I think that’s partly from the cold [upper 30s in Detroit]. It’s early in the season, and I think that’s going to come up. I’m not worried about it; everything feels pretty good. I’m just trying to stay healthy and be durable for the rest of the year.’’

Giolito pain-free

Right-hander Lucas Giolito tested his left hamstring by throwing 25 all-out pitches on flat ground. He used his full arsenal and felt no discomfort.


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‘‘In previous days I pushed it to the point of what it is, but today I couldn’t feel anything,’’ Giolito said. ‘‘So it’s a good sign. This is the hardest I’ve thrown since I went on the [injured list].’’

Giolito said he expects to throw a side session off a mound Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field, and Cooper said a second one would be likely before slotting him back into the rotation.

Left-hander Manny Banuelos, who took Giolito’s spot and threw four scoreless innings Monday against the Orioles in his first start since 2015, would be lined up to start again Sunday against the Tigers.

In any event, Giolito won’t be rushed back into service.

‘‘You want to nip it in the bud and look at it in the rearview mirror the rest of the year,’’ Cooper said.

Thank you

Rodon, relievers Nate Jones and Ryan Burr, catcher James McCann, coaches Joe McEwing and Nick Capra and broadcaster Jason Benetti visited Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the USO Warrior and Family Center.

‘‘Like I told those soldiers, it’s the very least we could do to say thank you and get their mind off what they’re going through,’’ Jones said. ‘‘They sacrificed a lot for you and me and our country.’’

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