Carlos Rodon to start throwing for White Sox on Friday

Carlos Rodon to start throwing for White Sox on Friday

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Carlos Rodon’s throwing program is expected to begin on Friday after a slight planned delay.

The White Sox have asked their young starting pitcher refrain from throwing activity for each of the first three days in camp in an effort to combat a lengthier spring training schedule. The 2017 spring training calendar includes a handful of extra days so players could prepare for the World Baseball Classic.

Rodon is one of several pitchers the White Sox are measuring out, according to manager Rick Renteria.

Instead of having Rodon throw the entire time in camp, the White Sox asked him to limit his activity early because they need him to carry a heavier workload this season. Rodon went 9-10 with a 4.04 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 165 innings pitched last season.

“Ease him into it a little bit,” pitching coach Don Cooper said. “With the World Classic, we are here (44 days). We’ve got a whole lot of time and we are going to take our time with him.

“He’s throwing tomorrow. Tomorrow his program starts like I said. He’s fine. He’s good. He’s good. He’s good. We are not going to ask somebody to do something if they are not.”

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The White Sox operated the same way with Chris Sale last spring. Cooper held Sale out of exhibition games until mid-March, preferring to have him work in extended bullpen sessions and simulated games. The schedule allowed for more focused work, Cooper said. Sale sang the schedule’s praises throughout the season, saying he felt refreshed.

The White Sox need Rodon to step up in Sale’s absence. The hope is he can provide the team with 180-200 innings pitched. Rodon threw a combined 149 1/3 innings in 2015 and slightly increased that total last season.

While most of his teammates have spent the first three days playing catch, participating in bullpens and taking pitcher’s fielding practice, Rodon’s schedule has been limited. The left-hander has spent the warmup time talking to coaches and hasn’t even thrown the ball to first during PFP’s.

But Cooper, Rodon and Renteria have said all week that the pitcher is healthy and working on an individual schedule.

“There are certain guys we’re going to be measuring in terms of their work and as soon as we get that structured out there in the longer format we’ll get them out there and do what we need them to do,” Renteria said on Tuesday.

White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada's trip to Chicago much ado about nothing

White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada's trip to Chicago much ado about nothing

PHOENIX -- Yoan Moncada’s routine checkup with team doctors drew some extra attention when baseball’s top prospect made it known he was in Chicago.

The White Sox Triple-A second baseman took a selfie and noted he was in Chicago, Illinois early Monday which sent some fans into a frenzy. General manager Rick Hahn said Monday that Moncada was only there to have his sore left thumb examined. Hahn said the thumb that landed Moncada on the seven-day disabled list last week has been determined to be fine.

“He’s been playing with it,” Hahn said. “It goes back a few weeks. It started getting a little more swollen and aggravated him a little more. He wanted to keep playing and didn’t want to go on the DL. But we decided to take a little time here, get it 100 percent, before he gets back out there.”

Moncada is hitting .331/.401/.504 with six home runs and 15 RBIs in 157 plate appearances this season. He also has stolen 10 bases.

Carlos Rodon 'getting closer' but still without time frame for return

Carlos Rodon 'getting closer' but still without time frame for return

PHOENIX — Carlos Rodon was pretty excited to face hitters at a major league venue on Monday afternoon, another step in his return from the disabled list.

Just when the White Sox left-hander will return is still to be determined. But it’s another telling sign of progress that Rodon threw 60 pitches and got up and down four times against White Sox minor leaguers at Chase Field on Monday. The exercise was the fourth simulated game that Rodon — on the 60-day disabled list with bursitis in his left shoulder — has participated in since he returned to the mound earlier this month. He said he currently views himself on an every-fifth-day schedule. Jake Petricka, who like Rodon was ecstatic to be back around White Sox teammates, also threw in the sim game as did Nate Jones.

“I’ve been itching for two months,” Rodon said. “Like I said, frustrating. Hopefully soon they’ll lift the leash off and let me pitch in a game and get back up here for my boys.

“Jake and I, we just play it by ear, listen to what they got for us and we do it.”

“We’re getting closer.”

While nobody is putting a timeline on when Rodon would return, he’s clearly advancing to a promising phase. General manager Rick Hahn watched Rodon’s outing and called it positive. Hahn said it’s encouraging that Rodon has begun to think of himself on a five-day schedule and the next step includes building up arm strength and endurance.

“He’s been out there now three or four times throwing to hitters,” 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.”

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The entire ordeal has been somewhat of a frustrating odyssey for Rodon. He initially believed he would be ready to return to the White Sox at the start of the month.

“Now it’s May 22nd and we’re still here,” he said. “It’s taken a lot longer than I imagined. It’s hard to be patient when your team is out here battling. I’m sitting on the backfield throwing and fielding PFP’s and waiting back here. It’s been frustrating.

“That’s all I can say, frustration.”

Rodon said he threw at 100 percent in the game. He described his command as pretty close to normal and said his stuff has begun to return.

The process has taken longer than all parties expected because it’s based on feel and “throwing with discomfort is never a good thing,” Rodon said. However, that time appears to be in the past as Rodon feels like he’s made good progress and is itching to get back on the mound.

Rodon would love to ignore his body and try to pitch through this. But after experiencing discomfort, Rodon appreciates the methodical approach.

“The competitor in me tells me to go out there, screw it, I can pitch,” Rodon said. “I’ll do it. I don’t care. 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. Have to be healthy to help out so. It’s hard to take the reins back on myself. As you get older you know your body better, what feels right and what feels wrong. I’m understanding that in the whole process. They’re helping me pull the reins back.”