Yankees make a change at catcher with Carlos Rodon on the mound

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are gearing up to face off against the Houston Astros on Friday night after an exciting opening day win. Superstar slugger Juan Soto was the hero, his first time as a Yankee. His 9th-inning throw to gun a runner out at home, RBI single, and two walks played a huge part in the team’s 5-4 comeback win.

Another offensive performance can be expected, with Carlos Rodon and Cristian Javier featuring on the mound for both sides on Friday evening. However, the Yankees are making a change at catcher, giving Austin Wells the start behind the dish, receiving from Rodon, who had a polarizing spring session.

The Yankees Need the Best From Rodon

The 31-year-old hosted a 4.19 ERA over 19.1 innings this spring, including a 62.5% left-on-base rate and 33.9% ground ball rate. Wells, on the other hand, is gearing up for his first season with the Yankees, showcasing upside over a small game sample in 2023.

Wells, who received the majority of the action this spring with Trevino dealing with a calf injury, hit 300/.391/.550 over 17 spring training games. He mashed two homers with nine RBIs, including a 150 wRC+. The Yankees are excited about his offensive make-up but he’s made significant strides defensively over the past year. There were serious concerns with his arm strength and framing qualities, but Wells has worked hard, and many of those problems have been alleviated.

Rodon will be hoping to put together a strong outing after Nestor Cortes struggled over the first two innings but settled down after giving up four runs early on. Despite finishing with a 7.20 ERA, Cortes performed a lot better than his metrics detail since he had a bumpy start but dominated later.

The Yankees will be hoping to secure a second consecutive win against a strong Houston team known for late-game heroics.

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