Rodon frustrated but 'close to normal' in rehab

White Sox lefty has spent season recovering from biceps bursitis

Rodon frustrated but 'close to normal' in rehab

PHOENIX -- Recovering from biceps bursitis has not exactly gone as Carlos Rodon envisioned when he went on the disabled list prior to the start of the 2017 season.

"I didn't think much of it," said the White Sox southpaw, addressing the media for the first time since the end of Spring Training at Chase Field Monday after throwing a simulated game hours earlier. "I thought it would be three or four weeks in April, come back, make a couple rehab starts and be ready the first of May.

"Now it's May 22," Rodon added. "And we're still here."

But Rodon appears to be making progress in his ongoing throwing program.

Monday's outing marked Rodon's fourth simulated game. He was able to get up and down four times while throwing 60 pitches to Minor Leaguers brought over from the White Sox Camelback Ranch complex.

"Today it played pretty much 100 percent, pretty close to normal command, stuff coming back," Rodon said. "It's a lot better."

"He's been out there now three or four times throwing to hitters," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "Each time has been a little more crisp from what I understand from the previous ones to today. Hopefully here in the coming weeks we are able to announce he's starting a rehab assignment and we'll have a better sense of his time frame at that point."

Rodon sees things more through a normal five-day rotation setup, so even if another simulated game follows, Rodon is doing his in-between work as if he's preparing for a start.

Frustration pretty much describes the overriding emotion for Rodon, who has watched the White Sox in action via television while working in Arizona. He wants to return to the mound, the clubhouse, the dugout, but with his shoulder tightness now turning to more of a dull soreness, he understands the caution being taken has a purpose.

"The competitor in me tells me to go out there, screw it, I can pitch. I'll do it. I don't care," said the 24-year-old. "But then you have to step back and know this is your career. It's something that could affect you over a long period of time. I have to be healthy. I can't be on the DL every other month, you know?

"That's not going to work. You have to be a reliable starter, a guy who goes seven innings. We're looking into the future. Not just this year but into the future. Obviously, hopefully I'm a part of that, but it's hard to take the reins back on myself."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.