7/19/2014 12:55 A.M. ET
Rodon sets off on pro career with rookie White Sox
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Carlos Rodon, the White Sox top pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft and the third pick overall, traveled to Arizona on Friday to begin his professional career with the Rookie League White Sox. Rodon, much like Chris Sale in 2010, will pitch his first season out of the bullpen and after a side session Saturday, the left-hander should make his debut with one inning of relief early next week.
"The early reports from the first few sidelines he has done in Winston-Salem over the past week were very positive," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn. "I'm not quite sure what his regimen was over the two months, but he was good to go.
"He hasn't thrown a pitch in anger since May 16, so we are not going to rush this thing. It will take a little while to build back that arm strength. Once he gets going, we'll respond based on how he feels and how he's performing."
Rodon will make a couple of appearances with Arizona and then return to Class A Winston-Salem to be activated by the Dash. Hahn was pleased to get a top-of-the-rotation type pitcher he had targeted for close to a year as the club's top pick and was equally pleased with an overall Draft class that included Rodon, right-handed pitcher Spencer Adams and left-handed pitcher Jace Fry.
"We were pleasantly surprised that each of the guys we took in the first three rounds were still available," Hahn said. "And obviously we were able to get [30 of 31] signed and get them out and going.
"Proof comes over the coming years how these guys develop and fulfill their potential. But certainly Draft day we were excited and now that everyone is in the fold and out starting their pro career, we remain very optimistic about the future."
Dunn's bouncing ball falls on wrong side of fence
CHICAGO -- Adam Dunn would have 455 career homers if not for a strange bounce in the fourth inning of Friday night's 3-2 victory for the White Sox over the Astros.
Dunn lofted a towering two-out drive toward the White Sox bullpen that just barely eluded the outstretched glove of left fielder L.J. Hoes. The ball hit the left-field fence, bounced back up into the air, came down and hit the fence again, and then fell back into fair territory for a double.
"I've seen it once, but not twice," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Dunn's physics-defying double. "Again, you are seeing that ball, you get that feeling you are hitting some balls hard, but you are not quite almost getting what you deserve."
Zach Putnam, who pitched the ninth to close out the victory, was getting loose when Dunn's near-miss occurred, so he didn't get a live look at the play.
"Somebody was yelling that one of the guys in the 'pen should have reached over and grabbed it," Putnam said. "Bought us a run or something, but I didn't see it myself."
Hahn keeping eye on long-term prospects
CHICAGO -- Rick Hahn's stance on potential deals involving the White Sox has not changed even with the All-Star break giving him a chance to thoroughly evaluate his squad. There may be players of interest to other teams, from Gordon Beckham to Alexei Ramirez to John Danks, but the general manager will not force any moves that don't make sense for the future.
"If there are opportunities to continue the process we started over a year ago, in terms of putting long-term pieces in place that we feel will allow us to compete on an annual basis, we will follow down those paths," said Hahn during a pregame interview session Friday. "But we are not going to force anything. There's no urgency to make any moves at this time.
"It's going to be dictated based upon the fits and what the return is going to be. I certainly don't plan to make any declarations or hang any signs on the front of the ballpark declaring our intentions. We are going to continue to be consistent and act in the same vein that we have in the past year, and that's trying to find long-term fits that can have an impact here."
Hahn added that the organization understands that the team is not where it needs to be starting the second half.
"We are realistic about where we are today," Hahn said. "We are realistic about where we are likely to be over the next 10 weeks or so."
Infielder Sanchez gets chance to stay with White Sox
CHICAGO -- The White Sox have a rested bullpen coming out of four days worth of inactivity because of the All-Star break. So Carlos Sanchez, who was called up for the first-half's final game, will stay on the roster as a utility infielder.
"For right now, with what happened right before the break with Alexei [Ramirez's back], you're just making sure," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "We have a little flexibility just because starting back up everybody's fresh, so you can keep him up here and have a few more options off the bench. How long? I don't know.
"He can serve as a utility guy. You don't have to force it and get him in there, but if the situation arises and you have a need to use him, you're going to use him."
Sanchez, the No. 10 White Sox prospect per MLB.com, is more of a natural second baseman and looked a little nervous starting at shortstop during the game on Sunday in Cleveland, according to Ventura.
"It was understandable. He came up and [we] hit him right away with, 'You've got to be able to get in there and play,'" said Ventura of the switch-hitting infielder. "That's better than him having to sit around and not play at all. The next couple times in there, if he gets in there, it'll be interesting to see how that goes."
Third to first
• Ozzie Guillen, who guided the 2005 White Sox to the World Series title and managed eight years on the South Side before departing for the Marlins after the '11 season, told the Chicago Sun-Times over the All-Star break that he would like to manage the White Sox again when Ventura doesn't want the job anymore. He stressed in the article that there was no disrespect meant to his friend currently at the helm, but it's a special job to him.
Ventura said Friday that he was not bothered by the comments from his former teammate.
"You mean not filtering it? I understand that part of him. I've understood that part of him for a long time," Ventura said. "That's him. I think everybody knew that his feelings would be like that before so it's not surprising."
Ventura added that if he isn't managing anymore, he doesn't care who's doing it "so it would be fine if it was [Guillen]." Hahn didn't see the quotes over the All-Star break, but pointed out that his focus "is on winning multiple championships with Robin Ventura."
• Chien-Ming Wang made his debut with Triple-A Charlotte on Friday night, after the White Sox signed the veteran right-hander to a Minor League deal. At 34, Wang provides veteran rotation depth more than fitting into the ongoing reshaping process.
"We've tried this a couple times with limited success," said Hahn. "It's just a matter about having depth so that if something should happen in Chicago, we've got another option to come give us a professional outing.
"You sort of know what you're going to get there; he's going to throw strikes and keep the ball on the ground. It is conceivable that, if there's a need here, we would turn to him."
• White Sox ace Chris Sale, who allowed one run during one inning in Tuesday's All-Star Game at Target Field, gets his first second-half start Monday against the Royals. He will have 11 days off between regular-season starts.
"That's part of pushing him back until next week," said Ventura. "He gets the full complement of rest and everything else that he deserves because he's gone pretty hard that first half."
• Outfielder Avisail Garcia took part in early infield work Friday. But the prognosis that he has been lost for the '14 season following April surgery on his left shoulder has not changed.
"It really is impressive that he's at the point he's at now," said Hahn. "To project out where that's going to take us at this point would be pure guesswork."
• Matt Lindstrom threw a side session at home in Idaho over the All-Star break and plans to throw another one on Saturday. Lindstrom is working his way back from left ankle surgery after injuring it while closing a game on May 19 in Kansas City.
• Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic, who were introduced as new members of the Chicago Bulls early Friday, threw out ceremonial first pitches Friday night.