TORONTO – When he went on the injured list, there were immediate concerns because of the injuries in his past.
Carlos Rodon has seen a number of seasons in a White Sox uniform derailed by injuries, including Tommy John surgery in 2019. So when left shoulder fatigue landed him on the IL on August 11th and prevented him from starting the Field of Dreams Game, some wondered if it would be long-term.
But that won’t be the case in 2021, as manager Tony La Russa confirmed on Wednesday that Rodon is getting activated off the IL on Thursday and will start the series finale against the Blue Jays in Toronto at 2:07 PM.
La Russa told reporters that Rodon has had no setbacks in bullpen sessions and has responded positively the day after, clearing his return to the rotation.
This is certainly good news considering that the left-handed pitcher has been one of the best stories on the White Sox this season. After not being tendered a contract late in 2020, Rodon returned to the club that drafted him with the third overall pick in the 2014 draft on a one-year, $3 million contract in January.
He pitched a no-hitter in April and was selected to his first All-Star Game this season, sporting a 9-5 record with a 2.38 ERA with 160 strikeouts compared to 30 walks. In his last start against the Cubs on August 7th at Wrigley Field, he struck out 11 batters with just two walks and two hits in five scoreless innings in a 4-0 White Sox victory.
On Wednesday, Tim Anderson will return to the White Sox lineup after missing four games due to hamstring tightness and will bat leadoff against the Blue Jays. That’s welcome news for La Russa since the shortstop is batting .320 with five homers and 14 RBI in the month of August.
As for catcher Yasmani Grandal, who has played in nine minor league games in rehab stints in Birmingham and Charlotte, La Russa said that a decision on his return to the big league club is expected within the next day.
He’s been out since July 5th after a torn tendon in his left knee required surgery.