Carlos Rodon outstanding in 2017 debut as White Sox trounce Angels

Carlos Rodon outstanding in 2017 debut as White Sox trounce Angels

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Carlos Rodon didn’t look like a guy who pitched in his first game of the entire spring on Sunday afternoon.

Rodon allowed a hit and walked one while striking out five batters in four scoreless innings in his 2017 Cactus League debut. Yoan Moncada also homered and doubled twice for the White Sox, who pounded the Los Angeles Angels 11-2 at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

After working on a deliberately slow program, Rodon admitted he’s been antsy to appear in an exhibition game.

“I’ve been sitting here for a while watching everybody else do something,” Rodon said. “I finally get to get out there and compete. So it was fun.

“Just normal. Getting back out there on the mound and facing those guys. Just had a fun time out there and we had some good defense playing behind me today. Hats off to those guys.”

Rodon had some good movement working. He dropped in a pair of offspeed pitches for called third strikes, two of three punch outs. The left-hander’s fastball sat between 90-91 mph in a scoreless first inning.

Rodon -- who threw strikes on 38 of 65 pitches before throwing 10 more in the bullpen -- struck out Mike Trout, Luis Valbuena (twice), Cameron Maybin and Cliff Pennington. He said he used all four of his pitches in the outing.

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“It’s nice to get a sense of where I’m at and just be able to compete out there like I said,” Rodon said. “Build from that. Just try to build that pitch count up and then try to get up and down five or six times next time and then just more command better changeups.”

The White Sox wanted for Rodon to take the slow route this spring. Not only do they want to help him reach the 200-inning mark, they hope he could avoid some of the fatigue Rodon experienced last summer. Despite that fatigue, Rodon returned to action after he sprained his wrist and excelled, posting a 3.11 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings.

“We’re glad he’s out there,” manager Rick Renteria said before the game. “He’s on track and falling into the schedule we had set up at the end.”

Of late, Moncada has been on an impressive pace. Most of his damage Sunday came against the Angels bullpen as he homered off Kirby Yates and hit the first of his doubles against Austin Adams. Through 46 plate appearances, Moncada is slashing .317/.391/.683 with three homers and 13 RBIs.

Fellow prospect Zack Burdi struck out one in 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He hasn’t allowed a run in eight of nine appearances and has a 2.70 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 10 innings this spring.

Matt Davidson homered and tripled in four at-bats. Adam Engel went 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Melky Cabrera went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for the White Sox, who finished with 14 hits.

White Sox Minor League Report: Micker Adolfo tapping into power potential

White Sox Minor League Report: Micker Adolfo tapping into power potential

As part of a weekly series, presented by Ozinga, CSNChicago.com will highlight the top performances of several prospects in a weekly minor league report.

White Sox Blueprint Player of the Week: Micker Adolfo (OF), Kannapolis Intimidators

The White Sox are finally seeing the player they envisioned when they signed the No. 2 ranked international prospect in 2013.

As he still grows into his 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame, Micker Adolfo has put his power potential on display in Kannapolis this season.

Adolfo has been on a tear throughout his last 10 games as he's hit .368 to go along with three home runs, seven RBI and four walks. 

On the season, Adolfo is slashing .286/.347/.493 and has already set career-highs in several categories, including home runs (8), RBI (35), hits (65), doubles (21) and runs (37).

Charlotte Knights

It looks like that nagging thumb injury is finally behind MLB's No. 1 prospect.

In his last 10 games at Charlotte, Moncada is batting .282 with a home run, six RBI and a stolen base. Moncada has also shown an impressive eye at the plate during that span, as he had a 12/11 BB/K ratio.

Birmingham Barons

It's spelled trouble for opposing hitters when Jordan Stephens has been on the mound in 2017.

The Texas-native has started three games since coming off the DL and carries an 0.98 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 18.1 innings pitched.

Stephens is currently MLB Pipeline's No. 14 White Sox prospect.

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Winston-Salem Dash

After a slow start following a promotion to Winston-Salem, the forgotten piece from the Washington Nationals in the Adam Eaton trade has been on a tear.

In three June starts, Dane Dunning has allowed just three earned runs on 13 hits and has 23 strikeouts in 17.2 innings pitched.

DSL White Sox

Although he hasn't homered since his first game in the Dominican Summer League, Cuban outfielder Luis Robert has shown tremendous discipline in the batter's box. 

Robert has averaged one walk per game and has a .258 batting average in 10 games. He's also added four stolen bases on the season.

Great Falls Voyagers

A pair of players from the White Sox 2016 draft class have gotten off to hot starts in the Rookie League.

Anthony Villa, a 19th rounder out of St. Mary's, has a robust 1.777 OPS in his first four games and has belted two home runs and six RBI.

Infielder Luis Curbello, a sixth-round selection out of Cocoa High School in Florida, has a .429/.529/.714 slash line with a home run and two RBI.

Mark Buehrle confirms 'that' rumor from Game 3 of the 2005 World Series

Mark Buehrle confirms 'that' rumor from Game 3 of the 2005 World Series

A few years ago, White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said on CSN's SportsTalk Live that Mark Buehrle had a beer -- or a few beers -- before saving Game 3 of the 2005 World Series. Cooper, with a bit of a grin, told David Kaplan that "there's no telling how many beers he had before that save."

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Buehrle, in a story for the Players' Tribune, cleared that up:

The thing a lot of people talk about with that one is this rumor that I drank a few beers before I got the save in our Game 3 victory.

There’s been some stuff that’s come out on that topic, but I feel like you all should really hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. So, here goes….

In short: Yeah, sure, O.K. fine, so I had a few. I can admit to that.

Buehrle explained in his first-person article that he only had three beers, max, which wasn't unusual given he had just started the second game of the series against the Houston Astros. More from Buehrle:

First off, no one on the planet would’ve ever guessed that I was going to see the field in Game 3. I had started the previous game of the series and threw 100 pitches in that one. I would’ve bet my house that I wasn’t going to pitch a day and a half later. Anyone would have.

So, that being the case, you better believe that I was gonna do what came natural to me — grab a few beers during the early innings, kick back and enjoy the game like everyone else.

How can you blame him? Cooper told him there was no way the White Sox would be using him that night in Houston unless the game went to 13 or 14 innings. Every time Buehrle went for another cold one, he checked in with his coaches -- hey, you still don't need me, right? 

Of course, the White Sox unexpectedly needed Buehrle after Brad Ausmus reached on an error on what was Damaso Marte's 39th pitch of the game. With the winning run at the plate and Marte over his season high in pitches (35) the call went to Buehrle. 

Buehrle retired Adam Everett to end the game, recording the only save of his career. That he had a few beers earlier that night only added No. 56's legendary status on the South Side. 

More: Chris Kamka's 56 reasons why White Sox fans love Mark Buehrle