Yankees’ Carlos Rodón back problem takes another twist: ‘It really sucks’

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Yankees injured starting pitcher Carlos Rodón broke his silence Friday, speaking to reporters for the first time since spring training ended. The Yankees gave the left-hander a $162 million contract this offseason, and he has yet to pitch in a real game, first suffering a forearm injury before a back problem appears. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Rodón will receive a cortisone injection in his back early next week, and the Yankees hope the treatment will help ease the “restriction” and “tightness” Rodón said he feels.
  • “It really sucks,” he told reporters outside the visiting clubhouse at Tropicana Field ahead of the series opener against the Rays. “I want to pitch for the New York Yankees. I want to start this series here.
  • “Rodón said he still doesn’t know when he’ll be ready to pitch in the majors. “Whenever my body tells me I can pitch and everyone agrees I can pitch, then I start throwing,” he said. “Whatever that ramp up takes, however I get to the mound or however I maneuver this ramp up and rehab, I can’t fix you a date. I would have thought I’d pitch here for the club now.

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Yankees continue to struggle with injuries

Rodón is one of the team’s most prominent injured players among a large number of them. They’ve used 13 stints on the injured list this season — the second-most at the majors behind the Mets. The Yankees are also missing starting pitcher Luis Severino (lat), who is yet to pitch this season. Batters Aaron Judge (hip strain) Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring), third baseman Josh Donaldson (hamstring) are on the IL, as are relievers Lou Trivino (Tommy John surgery), Jonathan Loaisiga (elbow surgery) and Tommy Kahnle (biceps). The Yankees are hoping Judge can return as early as Monday. — Kuty

What Rodon said

The 30-year-old said three doctors had seen him and they agreed he should get a shot. He will be banned from pitching for several days after the treatment, which the Yankees are still planning. He said he saw an improvement in the injury.

“Lately,” he said, “it’s gotten a lot better, and every day I really haven’t felt anything. Before, I would say yes (feel the pain day to day). I was very shy to pick up stuff because I didn’t want to make it worse.

Rodón said doctors told him the injury could be “chronic” and a result of his mechanics when he throws.

“Part of the game we play,” he said. “For some reason now is when he wants to act.” He added that he had never dealt with this type of injury before.

Rodón’s forearm strain is no longer an issue, he said. Rodón said he didn’t feel pain when throwing as much as a tightness that didn’t allow him to control his throws, although he still threw with his usual speed.

“I was saying to Gerrit (Cole) here, I would throw a fastball and it would cut like 2 feet,” Rodón said. “Or I would cast a sinker. I don’t throw lead. The release height – things just aren’t normal because my body won’t let me get to the positions I need.


The Yankees hoped Rodón would be a co-ace alongside Cole as they looked to end a World Series title drought that has lasted since 2009. Rodón was the consensus top pitcher in the free agent market during the season. offseason, finishing sixth in the National. Cy Young League race with the Giants.

Last season he went 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA in 31 starts — a career high. He also finished fifth in American League Cy Young voting with the White Sox in 2021. But Rodón, a former top prospect, has a long injury history that involves Tommy John surgery and shoulder issues.

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(Photo: Kim Klement/USA Today)

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