Yankees’ Carlos Rodon takes big step forward in recovery

carlos rodon, yankees
Mar 5, 2023; North Port, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (55) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at CoolToday Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Rodón is already ramping back up to get ready for the season, as his injury timetable appears to be slightly expedited. When he went down with an injury, it was immediately fearful that he might be missing significant time. Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case, but he will remain in Tampa when the Yankees leave to head back to NY this week. 

As per Bryan Hoch, Rodón is on the fast track to recovery. Hoch stated:

“Carlos Rodón threw 30 pitches in the bullpen today. Very encouraged by how he feels. He’ll remain behind in Tampa as the team goes north.” 

MLB’s Bryan Hoch

Having Carlos Rodón fully healthy is obviously the most important thing. Making sure he’s ready to roll and pitch the big innings down the stretch means a lot more than having him ready on Opening Day. He’ll still likely miss the majority of April, but him already throwing a bullpen session is a fantastic sign. He was the big fish the Yankees brought in this offseason and will be the second in command behind Gerrit Cole in a likely Postseason rotation. 

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The Yankees need Carlos Rodon to provide ace-level production:

Last year, Rodón was an NL Cy Young contender and did everything right for a disappointing Giants team. He tossed 178.0 innings, a career-high, and was utterly dominant the entire season. He gets swings-and-misses with the best of ‘em, with a 11.98 K/9 last season and a 12.55 the one prior, and has posted three consecutive years with a sub-10% HR/FB%. He’s simply elite and certainly is one of the best lefties in baseball. 

Though he has a forearm strain, he made sure to clarify that it wasn’t going to lead to anything pertaining his shoulder or UCL. In fact, Rodón made sure to state that he dealt with this injury last season, and nothing derailed his output. He posted a 2.88 ERA paired with a 2.25 FIP and had the second-highest Pitcher fWAR in the entire league behind Nola’s 6.3 — at 6.2. 

He was the big acquisition, and it sucks we won’t be able to watch him for a bit to start the season. However, the positive updates have been rolling in pertaining to him, and I bet he continues progressing at the rapid pace he’s been doing. The Yanks’ rotation is currently fighting for its life, even if Jhony Brito’s last spring start pumped every fan full of belief serum. Having he, Schmidt, and German make up 3/5 of the roto is a far cry from what the team was expecting for Opening Day. 

Once Rodón returns, and Severino gets back from his lat strain injury, it’ll help round out an extremely elite rotation. Adding them to the combination of Cole and Nestor, plus one of the three aforementioned guys that filled in (presumably the best performer of the bunch), will have the Yanks sitting pretty come May. It’s early days in the year, and Rodón’s progress should be taken as nothing more than a positive step in the process.