The White Sox don't want top draft pick Carlos Rodon thinking he has to be the next Chris Sale, but he is definitely starting his professional career on a similar path.
Rodon, the No. 3 overall pick in last month's draft, headed to the Arizona Rookie League White Sox on Friday and he is scheduled to make his debut early next week with 1 inning of relief. Following another Arizona outing, possibly 2 innings, the 21-year-old lefty is expected to report to high Class A Winston-Salem.
That's where Sale got his start in 2010, and he was with the Sox by the end of the season. Like Sale, Rodon is going to be used exclusively in relief this year.
"We're not going to use him as a starter this season simply because it's easier to manage his outings and his workload as a reliever," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "I've probably shied away from Chris Sale comparisons, but at least from the developmental standpoint, how we handled Chris that first year is similar to how we'll handle Carlos this year."
Rodon, who agreed to a franchise-record $6.582 million signing bonus last week, make a good impression on Hahn and assistant GM Buddy Bell when he arrived in Chicago for a physical.
"We did a lot of background research on this kid," Hahn said. "We are very comfortable with his makeup and his competitiveness and his intensity and his drive to be as good as he can be, and be that front-end type starter that we envision.
"While he was here, he got along with everybody. I know Buddy's conversation with him about the development plan, he's bought into it. He's on board with everything. It's obviously very early in his pro career but so far we are very pleased."
Return of Ozzie?
At the All-Star Game earlier this week, Ozzie Guillen told the Chicago Sun-Times he would be interested in returning to manage the White Sox "when Robin (Ventura) gets tired of managing or he's had enough. I would like to be back."
Anything is possible, but don't plan on seeing Guillen back in the Sox' dugout anytime soon.
General manager Rick Hahn said he didn't see the actual comments from Guillen, not that he needed to.
"I will say my focus is on winning multiple championships with Robin Ventura," Hahn said.
As for Ventura, who was Guillen's White Sox teammate from 1989-97, he wasn't bothered by the remarks.
"If I'm not doing it anymore, I don't care who's doing it," Ventura said. "So it would be fine if it was him."
Extended break for Sale:
Chris Sale is not scheduled to start until Monday or Tuesday, so the Sox' ace left-hander should be well rested.
Sale's last start was on July 9, at Boston. He did pitch 1 inning in Tuesday night's All-Star Game.
"After the All-Star Game and things like that, you want to make sure that he is as well rested as he can possibly be," manager Robin Ventura said. "I think that's part of pushing him back until next week, so he gets the full complement of rest and everything else that he deserves because he's gone pretty hard that first half."
A day after signing with the White Sox and being assigned to Class AAA Charlotte, Chien-Ming Wang pitched 6 innings against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks.
"Another veteran depth move," GM Rick Hahn said of signing Wang. "We've tried this a couple times with limited success. 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. It is conceivable that if there's a need here, we would turn to him."