The New York Yankees learned of some unsettling news on Thursday, as star pitching acquisition, Carlos Rodon, suffered a left forearm strain that will knock him out beyond the start of the regular season. Rodon signed a six-year, $162 million deal with the Bombers this off-season, hoping to pair with Gerrit Cole as the team’s top lefty pitcher.
Rodon is coming off an excellent campaign with the San Francisco Giants, pitching a career-high 178 innings. He posted a 2.88 ERA, 2.91 xFIP, 12 strikeouts per nine, and a 75.1% left-on-base rate. Given that Rodon put together two consecutive seasons of over 130 innings pitched, the Yankees felt they could commit to him long-term as a solution in the rotation. Of course, the fact he’s already dealing with an injury is a bit scary, but the Bombers knew this could happen and are prepared to wait it out.
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Luckily, Rodon’s injury doesn’t seem to be anything too significant, with manager Aaron Boone indicating he could return in April as a best-case scenario.
Chris Kirschner of The Athletic spoke to “Dr. Spencer Stein, a sports health orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone Orthopedics,” who delivered some optimistic news:
“Most commonly, the forearm muscles that are strained are called the flexor pronators of which the brachioradialis is not one,” said Stein, who hasn’t seen Rodón’s X-rays or MRI scans and isn’t treating him. “These flexor pronator muscle strains can be quite disabling. Brachioradialis strains are less common and don’t see as much torque and strain as the other flexor muscles. For that reason, the prognosis is better and should lead to a shorter recovery.”
The Yankees should’ve handled Carlos Rodon better:
Carlos made one appearance during spring training, giving up six earned runs across five hits. Of course, this wasn’t what the Yankees or Rodon hoped for, especially after he complained of discomfort in the forearm just one day before. The Yankees had him pitch anyway, which certainly proved to be a terrible idea, given he was batted around.
Moving forward, expect to see plenty of Clarke Schmidt and Domingo German in the starting rotation until Rodon can make a return. The good news is that he avoided any UCL damage and should make a full recovery without any lingering concerns, but the Yankees will still have to supplement his loss for the time being.