Carlos Rodon threw 58 pitches in a high-A rehab start on Saturday, and Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters (including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch) that Rodon emerged from the outing in good health and in good form. It was Rodon’s third rehab start, and the Yankees’ plan is for the left-hander to make his 2023 debut on Friday against the Cubs. It’s better late than never for Rodon, who had both a forearm strain in March and then some back tightness that put his rehab work on pause. A cortisone injection in early May provided some relief to Rodon’s back, and it has since been relatively smooth sailing as he has slowly built up his arm strength.
Rodon joined the Bronx Bombers on a six-year, $162MM free agent contract this winter. The early injury scare certainly created some immediate second-guessing about the Yankees’ investment, yet if Rodon displays any of his form from the last two seasons, his 60-day IL stint might just be a bump in the road, though Rodon’s lengthy career injury history will always linger. Rodon was a top-six Cy Young Award finisher in each of the last two seasons with the White Sox and Giants, posting a 2.67 ERA, 33.9% strikeout rate, and 7.1% walk rate over 310 2/3 innings in 2021-22. While a lack of offense has been the Yankees’ chief problem this year, adding an in-form Rodon alongside ace Gerrit Cole atop New York’s rotation will certainly help in the run prevention department, and potentially allow the Bombers to keep grinding out wins until Aaron Judge can return to boost the lineup.
More from the AL East…
- The Orioles’ 2-1 victory over the Twins today came with some pain, as Jordan Westburg was hit on the left hand with a pitch from Jhoan Duran in the eighth inning. The bases were loaded, so Westburg’s HBP ended up scoring the game’s winning run. Westburg will get testing done on his hand, while the O’s had another injury concern earlier in the game when Austin Hays departed with a hip contusion. Hays collided with Twins first baseman Donovan Solano while running out a grounder in the second inning, and Hays remained in the game until the fourth before being replaced in left field.
- Garrett Whitlock pitched just one inning in today’s start, as the Red Sox right-hander is dealing with elbow tightness. Whitlock told reporters (including Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe) that he had been feeling some stiffness in the elbow even prior to taking the mound today, and his current issue feels differently than the bout of ulnar neuritis that put him on the injured list for a month earlier this season. An MRI has been scheduled, and Whitlock and the Sox can only hope that the issue is nothing more than some inflammation. Whitlock already has one major elbow surgery on his resume, as he underwent a Tommy John procedure in 2019.
- Isaac Paredes also made an early exit from the Rays’ game with the Mariners today, due to what the Rays described as left rib discomfort. Paredes was heading for third base while France was trying to field a grounder, resulting in a big collision between the two players. Manager Kevin Cash told reporters (including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times) that initial x-rays revealed no rib fractures, so Paredes may have avoided a serious injury. One of many players emerging for first-place Tampa Bay, Paredes has hit .267/.372/.494 with 14 homers over 290 plate appearances this season.