Left-hander Carlos Rodon’s scheduled start Thursday against the Twins got pushed back to Saturday against the Royals because of a tight right hamstring and tight back, manager Tony La Russa said Wednesday.
La Russa characterized both issues as minor, but right-hander Lance Lynn will start Thursday on four days of rest. Rodon (5-0, 0.58 ERA) will get seven days after his scoreless six-inning performance with eight strikeouts and no walks Saturday against the Royals in Kansas City.
“He had a little hamstring tightness,” La Russa said. “And he could’ve pitched [Thursday].
“It was more just to make sure — and his back was a little tight, things that crop up. Just don’t want to push it, unless you have to, and we didn’t have to.”
Rodon’s clean bill of health after bouncing back from shoulder and Tommy John surgery has been the big story in the 2014 No. 3 draft pick’s resurgence this season, in which he has been one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Rodon was limited to 42⅓ innings over the previous two seasons, but La Russa envisions him taking the ball every fifth day this season.
“Yeah, I think so,” La Russa said. “He’ll be like everybody else. It’s a strenuous thing when all of a sudden you feel a little tweak here or there. It’s not going to feel better if you go out there and pitch. There’s nothing in the way he’s gotten ready and the way he’s built up the strength and stamina that’s going to prevent him from pitching every five days.”
Rodon pitched a career-high 165 innings in 2016.
Vaughn hits first homer
A few hours after hitting coach Frank Menechino said he told rookie Andrew Vaughn to “[expletive] the home run” and work on hitting .300 instead, Vaughn hit his first career homer against Twins lefty J.A. Happ. It came in his 24th game and 85th plate appearance.
“I’ve told Andrew to hit .300; I don’t care if you don’t hit one home run,” Menechino said. ‘‘Let’s hit .300. Then we will worry about the other stuff later.”
The homer, which traveled 436 feet to left-center, raised Vaughn’s average to .327 in his last 16 games.
Right-hander Evan Marshall completed his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State this week.
“I’m extremely proud,” said Marshall, 31, the first one in his family to receive a degree. “I owed it to [my parents] to follow through with this.”
A fourth-round draft choice by the Diamondbacks after his junior year in 2011, Marshall’s degree is in business management with a minor in marketing.
He resumed taking classes after the 2017 season, needing 50 credits.
“I just took my last final yesterday, so it’s been quietly happening in the background during all of baseball, which has been difficult sometimes,” said Marshall, who took classes online and gave credit to his wife, Allie, for giving him the necessary motivation.
“There are a lot of guys in this clubhouse with pending degrees, and maybe I can serve as a beacon of hope,” Marshall said.
This and that
Outfielder Adam Engel (hamstring) is ramping up the intensity of his work as he gets closer to making his season debut, La Russa said.
“He’s making progress,” La Russa said. “We’re counting down the days until he rejoins us. I think it’s going to be sometime this month.”
† After enjoying six days off in the first 40 days on the schedule, the Sox began a stretch of 27 games in 27 days and 40 games in 41 days Tuesday.