"I am preparing as a starter," Rodon said after an outing in an intrasquad game Thursday evening. "I went four innings, so I don't see the point of going to the bullpen. I have built up this many pitches. Right now, my role is a starter. And that is what I am going to do."
Rodon, 27, is 14 months removed from the elbow ligament replacement that he had in May 2019. While the White Sox have revealed few details about their rotation order, Rodon appears to be in a battle for the No. 5 spot with veteran left-hander Gio Gonzalez. Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Dylan Cease and Reynaldo Lopez appear to line up as the top four pitchers.
Rodon has been feeling good lately in getting back to full strength.
"I thought my fastball was decent," Rodon said after sitting between 90-93 miles per hour. "It was close to what it is all the way. It was pretty good. I missed with a few pitches. The home runs were a changeup to Timmy (Anderson) and two fastballs to Edwin (Encarnacion). There are things we can get better at. The good thing is these games don't count."
The White Sox selected Rodon at No. 3 overall in the 2014 amateur draft. He has had some moments of brilliance but otherwise been inconsistent in an injury-plagued career that also includes a shoulder procedure in 2017. Rodon has spent time on the injured list every season since 2016.
His best season was his first, as he went 9-6 with a 3.75 ERA in 2015. Rodon posted a 5.19 ERA in seven appearances in 2019 before undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Rodon is aiming to play his role in what hopes believes can be a "special" team in the coming years -- starting now.
"In a 60-game race, anyone has a chance to make it to the playoffs and win a World Series," Rodon said. "It's a good year for us to play under pressure and build and be ready for coming years as well. We have some guys that have some time to develop at the major league level while they are playing. We have some veteran guys to teach the young guys. This is an interesting team. It is a good mix. It can be a very special group."