The White Sox are joining the ranks of teams extending protective netting in their ballparks for the 2018.
Teams across the majors have been extending netting down the foul lines of their stadiums in response to a toddler being severely injured when a foul ball struck her in September at Yankee Stadium.
The Sox were one of the few remaining teams in the MLB not to announce plans to extend the netting but at a team organizational meeting Friday it was determined they will do so before the home opener April 5 against the Tigers.
The netting at Guaranteed Rate Field will extend to the far end of each of the dugouts, to Sect. 122 on the first-base line and Sect. 142 down third.
“With what has been happening in major-league baseball over the last couple of years we’re concerned with fan safety,” Vice President of Communications Scott Reifert said before the opening of SoxFest 2018 at the Hilton Chicago. “We were waiting for the architecture and engineering drawings before we made a decision. They presented three or four options (Friday) and that’s the one we decided on.”
Reifert also said there are plans to extend the netting at the team’s spring training ballpark, Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz.
Rodon update: Left-hander Carlos Rodon, who underwent surgery on his shoulder in late September, will begin a throwing program next week. Rodon will not be ready for opening day and said he doesn’t have a firm timetable for when he will return to the rotation.
“I really want to be like, ‘Hey, I’m going to be back on this day,’ but I really don’t know,” Rodon said. “It’s going to take a little while but I’ll be back this season.”
Trade talk: Slugger Jose Abreu, who has lost about 10 pounds during the offseason, said he has heard the rumblings about a potential trade from the Sox but doesn’t let them concern him.
“I’ll be lying to you if I say that I don’t know anything about the rumors,” Abreu said via a team interpreter. “I know they’re out there, but that’s something that I can’t control. I just try to focus on the things that I can do, the things that I can control.”