TAMPA, Fla. — Carlos Rodon, we hardly knew ye. According to New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, the prized offseason pitching acquisition has a “mild” left forearm strain. Hence, Rodon will begin the season on the injured list. It’s an issue Rodon dealt with last May while pitching for the San Francisco Giants. Thankfully it’s nothing involving his UCL.
In addition, also starting the season on the IL are Lou Trivino (elbow ligament strain), Tommy Kahnle (biceps tendinitis), Frankie Montas (shoulder surgery), and Scott Effross (Tommy John surgery).
Alas, when it comes to acquiring injury-plagued pitching, especially starting pitching, Cashman and the organization’s medical evaluators and training staff are batting 1.000.
I’ll preface this by saying I loved the Rodon signing, despite his injury history with shoulder and Tommy John surgeries in the past. Yet, this trend has gone on for far too long to be solely unlucky. It’s either guys who are coming off an injury (Jaret Wright, Corey Kluber, Jon Lieber, Jameson Taillon, James Paxton), guys who are still injured (Montas), or guys who break down (Carl Pavano, Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda).
That list doesn’t even include guys who were developed in the system and had about two good seasons before either getting hurt or flaming out. A prime example on the current roster is Luis Severino, who, after signing a four-year contract, has been perpetually injured since 2019.
So, what does this mean for the current pitching staff? Well, they’re certainly stretched.
One hopes the aforementioned Severino can hold up and Nestor Cortes builds up strength in his legs. Now you have Clarke Schmidt and Domingo German in the rotation, which may be a silver lining in Schmidt’s development but certainly takes away another bullpen arm.
The bullpen has Michael King returning from injury and perhaps limited to one inning (perhaps make him closer?) in the early going. Clay Holmes, who fell off in the second half and appeared to be battling fatigue among other issues. You hope Jonathan Loaisiga bounces back to what he was a few years ago. Hopefully, Ron Marinaccio is healthy and builds off a solid rookie campaign. Wandy Peralta is Mr. rubber arm. Perhaps someone such as Jimmy Cordero will arise and surprise. Then it’s crossing fingers with guys like Greg Weissert and Albert Abreu.
Unfortunately, much of the depth was dealt at the deadline with the likes of Hayden Wesneski, Ken Waldichuk, and JP Sears being shipped out.
We’ll see if any additional roster moves are made before Opening Day but running it back with virtually the same roster which was swept in the 2022 ALCS is less than optimal.