Carlos Rodon lands on injured list with shoulder fatigue; White Sox lose game, series to Twins
The Sox put Rodon on the injured list Wednesday and recalled Matt Foster from Triple-A Charlotte.
MINNEAPOLIS — White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon was scheduled to start the ‘‘Field of Dreams’’ game Thursday against the Yankees in Dyersville, Iowa. Instead, he is going on the 10-day injured list with shoulder fatigue, the Sox said before their 1-0 loss Wednesday to the Twins at Target Field.
Right-hander Lance Lynn, who was scheduled to start Wednesday, was pushed back to start Thursday. Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez started Wednesday, pitched three scoreless innings and figures to get at least one more start in Rodon’s place.
‘‘Yesterday Carlos came in with some arm soreness,’’ manager Tony La Russa said. ‘‘We’re hoping it’s a short break.’’
It doesn’t figure to be. While Rodon, who has a history of arm problems and returned to Chicago to have the shoulder examined, is on the IL retroactive to Sunday, returning Aug. 18 ‘‘would seem to be overly optimistic,’’ La Russa said.
‘‘That would be the most optimistic, but always treat players, pitchers with arm issues, with caution,’’ La Russa said.
With a 10-game lead in the American League Central, the Sox are gearing up for a postseason that would look better with Rodon in it than not. Fingers are crossed that the injury-prone Rodon will return to the healthy state that has helped him post a 9-5 record with 2.38 ERA and pitch no-hitter against the Indians in April.
This easily has been Rodon’s best season. There was concern, however, when his velocity was down in starts July 24 and July 29, with each start lasting only four innings. But after an eight-day rest, Rodon touched 99 mph and threw five innings of scoreless, two-hit ball Saturday against the Cubs.
Rodon was limited to four games and two starts last season because of shoulder soreness, but the Sox brought him back on a one-year contract, even though staying healthy had been a battle for him. After having arthroscopic shoulder surgery in late 2017, Rodon returned to make 20 starts in 2018. He made seven starts in 2019 before undergoing Tommy John surgery in May.
This season, Rodon has pitched like a Cy Young Award candidate and is a big reason why the Sox’ World Series hopes are so high.
‘‘He wasn’t happy about [going on the IL],’’ Lynn said. ‘‘The season he’s having, you wanted to keep going. I don’t think it will be anything crazy, but you never know. He seems to think a little rest will help and that he’ll be ready to go in the near future.’’
La Russa called Lopez ‘‘the best candidate’’ to replace Rodon in the rotation, and that was before he looked sharp with four strikeouts Wednesday. Lopez, who was the Sox’ best starter in 2018 but has struggled since, has a 1.37 ERA in 10 appearances since being recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on July 16.
‘‘I feel sad for Carlos, but I welcome the opportunity to step up and do my part to help the team,’’ Lopez said. ‘‘I have confidence in all my pitches.’’
As for right-hander Michael Kopech, who is viewed as a future starter?
‘‘We’re into August, and extending him to where he would be a starter takes him out of that [relief] role we really need him in, especially when you expect Carlos to be back,’’ La Russa said. ‘‘It’s not realistic.’’
Taking Rodon’s spot on the roster was right-handed reliever Matt Foster, who was recalled from Charlotte and pitched a perfect seventh. Foster was 0-1 with a 1.17 ERA in seven appearances with Charlotte.
Bailey Ober and three relievers, including closer Alex Colome, held a Sox lineup without Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert — all of whom were resting — to six hits, and Jorge Polanco homered against Jose Ruiz in the sixth. The Twins took two of three games in the series.