The Yankees entered the season with one of the best starting rotations in MLB on paper. Unfortunately, injuries continue to mount for Aaron Boone.
Brian Cashman signed Carlos Rodon in free agency to fortify the top of the Yankees ‘ starting rotation. Fans in the Bronx are still waiting for their high-priced acquisition to throw his first pitch of the season.
Rodon began the year on the injured list with a left forearm injury. The Yankees were hopeful it would only sideline him for a few weeks. The latest news on the 30-year-old southpaw further delays his potential Yankees debut. Stiffness in Rodon’s back has pushed his progress back “ a few days ” according to manager Aaron Boone.
Yankees: Carlos Rodon return stalled by back issue
Rodon’s continued absence will force New York to continue to deploy multiple pitchers in their starting rotation who weren’t originally slated for that sort of role. Clarke Schmidt was supposed to be utilized as a high-leverage reliever. Instead, he’s struggled mightily to an 8.45 ERA in his three starts to begin the year.
Jhony Brito didn’t even enter Spring Training on the 40-man roster. In sharp contrast to Schmidt, he’s been a revelation for Boone and the team’s coaching staff. No one expected him to pitch to a sparkling 0.90 ERA in two starts to open his Major League career.
The good news for the Yankees is that Rodon’s latest setback shouldn’t delay his comeback any more than a week if things remain on their current course. His return to the rotation should permit Schmidt to head back to the bullpen. Then again, counting on a pitcher with Rodon’s lengthy injury history to come back quickly from the injured list is more of a hope than a plan.
As it stands, the Yankees will continue to deploy a patchwork starting rotation until the likes of Rodon and Luis Severino make their way back to full health. Time will tell if their respective returns come quickly enough to power New York to the postseason.