Many expected the worst when Yankees left-hander Carlos Rodón was shut down from throwing with left forearm tightness. However, the 30-year-old is already advancing his recovery with another bullpen session on Monday.
When Rodón was initially announced to be battling an injury on March 9th, Yankees general Manager Brian Cashman said that Rodón would not throw for the next 7-10 days, but “in an ideal world,” the high-priced free agent would be back sometime in April.
Just two weeks after that conversation, Rodón threw his first bullpen on Thursday and came out of it feeling good, according to Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone.
“His next one will probably be Monday with everything,” said Boone. “He’s had a good week.”
If Rodón were to come out of Monday’s bullpen feeling healthy, the Yankees would likely have him throw one more or have him progress to facing live hitters in a batting practice setting.
Assuming all of that goes well, the left-hander will still need to pitch in games and ramp up his workload until he can be stretched out to around 70-80 pitches before pitching in a Major League game. That will likely mean that Rodón will start the year on a rehab assignment or remain in extended spring training so that he can get those games in.
With all of that still in front of him, it would be safe to assume that, if all goes well, Rodón could be back in the Yankees’ starting rotation by sometime in the first half of May.
Rodón had been going through a renaissance of sorts the past two years as one of the most dominant pitchers in Major League Baseball. He boasted a 2.67 ERA (157 ERA+), 2.42 FIP, and 33.9% strikeout rate over the last two seasons and, most importantly, remained relatively healthy throughout that span.
The Yankees signed him to a six-year contract this offseason and he made just one spring appearance, surrendering five runs on six hits and allowing two home runs in the effort before behind shut down with his forearm tightness.
However, if he continues progressing as he has been, the Yankees will still have their new stud pitcher in uniform for the vast majority of the season, which would be a major sigh of relief.
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