New York Yankees left-hander Carlos Rodón will begin the regular season on the injured list because of a mild forearm strain, according to general manager Brian Cashman. Cashman told reporters, including MLB.com's Bryan Hoch, that Rodón will be shut down for seven to 10 days, but that in a "perfect world" the newly acquired southpaw would still make his season (and team) debut sometime in April.
Rodón joins a growing list of Yankees pitchers who will be unavailable to the club to begin the season. That group includes fellow starter Frankie Montas (acquired in a trade last deadline), as well as relievers Scott Effross and Lou Trivino and offseason addition Tommy Kahnle.
Rodón, like Kahnnle, joined the Yankees over the winter, signing a six-year pact worth $162 million. CBS Sports ranked him as the eighth best free agent available entering the offseason, writing the following about him:
Rodón is a living testament to some of the game's recent philosophical shifts. Starters needing a reliable third pitch? Pff, that's the old religion. These days, Rodón chucks his fastball and slider more than 90 percent of the time combined and it isn't just allowed, it's encouraged. His mid-90s heater had the second-highest whiff rate (min. 1,000 thrown) in the majors last season behind Gerrit Cole, a byproduct of its velocity and rising movement, as well as the tough angle created by his release point. It's easy to think of Rodón's formula as being "elevated fastballs early, buried sliders late," but that's not the case. He's thrown his fastball more in two-strike counts than his slider the last two seasons, and it's reasonable to bet on him extending that streak. His injury history and lacking performance track record limited him to a short-term deal last winter. Rodón seems far more likely to get a long-term deal this offseason.
With Rodón unavailable, the Yankees could open the season with a rotation that includes Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Domingo Germán, Clarke Schmidt, and Nestor Cortes, who had to withdraw from the World Baseball Classic earlier this spring because of a hamstring injury of his own.