Yankees Left Scrambling As Carlos Rodón's Back Injury Won't Go Away


The New York Yankees gambled big when they signed Carlos Rodón to a six-year, $162 million contract this winter. They inked an oft-injured pitcher to a big deal praying he would stay healthy. So far they've rolled snake eyes on that bet.

In spring training, Rodón suffered a left forearm strain after his first outing. He hasn't pitched in a game since. The elbow injury turned into a back problem as he rehabbed. He's undergone several rounds of testing on it over the past few weeks and the Yankees claim he's come back clean. But now it appears Rodón's recovery has stalled.

The Yankees are currently without projected starters Rodón, Luis Severino and Frankie Montas. To add insult to injury, Nestor Cortes has been dealing with strep throat and will have his next start pushed back.

As mentioned, Rodón was a big time risk as a free agent. Due to injuries, the lefty only made 12 starts in 2017, 20 in 2018, seven in 2019, two starts (four appearances) in 2020 and 24 in 2021. He was able to start 31 games in 2022, the first full slate of games of his big league career. And, as a member of the San Francisco Giants last season he went 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and 237 strikeouts in 178 innings. That followed a 2021 in which he went 13-5 for the Chicago White Sox with a 2.37 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP and 185 strikeouts in 132.2 innings.

So when the 30-year-old is actually on the mound, he's great. But he's only topped 140 innings twice in his eight-year career (2016 and 2022). He's had multiple shoulder injuries and underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019. Now his forearm and back have both been acting up.

If the Yankees can ever get their rotation healthy, it would be formidable. Gerrit Cole, followed by Rodón, Cortes, Severino and Montas would be hell on MLB offenses. But it doesn't seem like that group is going to be together any time soon.