Rodon eager to learn from rough outing

'It's good to look back at it, good or bad,' White Sox rookie says

Rodon eager to learn from rough outing

OAKLAND --- As the White Sox players in the A's visiting clubhouse hooted and hollered at the TVs showing American Pharoah galloping to win the Preakness Stakes, Carlos Rodon had his eyes glued on another screen Saturday afternoon.

Along with pitching coach Don Cooper and catcher Geovany Soto, Rodon watched video of his rough start Friday on a laptop.

Rodon was in the zone enough to block out the shouts in the background, all to see why his pitches were frequently out of the strike zone in his second career start the previous night.

The post-start routine in the weeks-old big league career of the No. 3 pick in the 2014 draft looks like this: He learns, doesn't dwell; he's methodical, not overly analytical.

"It's tough to go back and look at that kind of film because you don't want to relive it," Rodon said. "All the veterans here say it: The beautiful thing about baseball is in five days you get to pitch again and erase it from your memory. It's good to look back at it, good or bad, and see what you can improve on."

The rookie wasn't his best against the A's, yielding five earned runs and walking six batters in four innings before Chicago pulled off the come-from-behind win.

But his routine and mindset following an outing is straightforward, whether it was a win, loss or, as in Friday's case, a no-decision. The day after a start, he arrives early to run the stadium stairs, something he did with Brad Penny in Triple-A. Gradual strength-building and catch builds daily until his next start.

Faith in a simple routine and its day-to-dayness, Rodon believes, yields steadfastness in a game Rodon sees already moving quickly since his call-up April 20.

"It's gone by real fast," he said. "It's been really exciting. It's every little boy's dream growing up to play baseball in the big leagues. Now I'm here, it's kind of surreal. I'm getting more comfortable."

Willie Bans is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.