OAKLAND, Calif. — Left-hander Carlos Rodon returns to the rotation Friday, when the White Sox open a three-game series against the Red Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
“Right now, we’re excited,” manager Tony La Russa said before the Sox lost 3-1 to the Athletics to wrap up a road trip Thursday afternoon. “He’s made good progress.”
And the trainer’s-room news got better. Lance Lynn (right knee) should come off the injured list to pitch Sunday, and Lucas Giolito (left hamstring) should come off it to face the Angels on Tuesday.
“All three guys are making good progress, and we’re optimistic,” La Russa said.
After being out Aug. 8-26 with shoulder fatigue, Rodon made two five-inning starts but missed a turn against the A’s because of recurring issues. His velocity was down a couple of miles per hour his last two starts.
“It is what it is, start by start,” Rodon said. “Some days it’s not going to be 100 miles an hour; some days it’s going to be 96. And thank God I had 96.”
Rodon has pitched 119⅔ innings after being limited to 7⅔ and 34⅔ the previous seasons because of shoulder and elbow surgeries.
“The staff’s been great with trying to get me rest, and it’s much appreciated on my end,” Rodon said. “It’s kind of my body just getting used to it. But I have to go out there and make these last starts. I want to be ready for that postseason push.”
Lynn: Timing could’ve been worse
Lynn will give his sore knee a final test in a bullpen session Friday in Chicago. He would be matched up against former Sox All-Star Chris Sale.
During a playoff push, missing time early in September “where you can take a break you need and be ready to go and ramp up at the end of September, it kind of worked out the best possible way it could have for where we’re at,” Lynn said.
After the weekend, the Sox begin a three-week final stretch into the postseason. Having Rodon, Giolito and Lynn at full strength “would be huge for us,” La Russa said. “Our fingers are crossed that the plan goes ahead as scheduled.’’
Jimenez could play Friday
La Russa said Eloy Jimenez, who would miss 2½ games after getting struck on the knee by a foul ball Tuesday, is still sore but is getting treatment and could return Friday.
La Russa didn’t have a timetable for outfielder Adam Engel’s return. Engel (shoulder, groin) is on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Charlotte.
Still no Tim
Tim Anderson, who went on the 10-day injured list Sept. 1 (retroactive to Aug. 29) after he had missed 12 of the Sox’ last 16 games with hamstring problems, took batting practice with the team Wednesday, the day he was eligible to come off the injured list.
No timetable for a return has been given.
“I was just sore every morning,” he said. “But I feel good now. Every day has been getting better. Being able to move around a little bit more the way that I want to.”
It’s mostly about being ready for the postseason.
“Fix the engine, and we know what the ultimate goal is,” Anderson said. “We know what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get healthy and come back as quick as I can, but also be 100% and be smart about it.”
Yoan Moncada was awarded a single and Whit Merrifield had an error taken away by an MLB scoring change, which extended Moncada’s hitting streak to 19 games, a streak that was halted when he went 0-for-3 Wednesday.