Carlos Rodon’s fastball generates buzz, hits Yankees’ Calhoun

Carlos Rodon and Willie Calhoun of the New York Yankees

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Carlos Rodon showcased his most impressive fastball yet, signaling a significant stride in his journey back to the Yankees after being signed half a year ago.

Sunday afternoon brought some positive news for the Yankees as Carlos Rodon showcased a fastball with impressive movement. But unfortunately, Willie Calhoun had an unfortunate encounter with one of Carlos Rodon’s fastballs during a live batting-practice session at Yankee Stadium. The pitch struck Calhoun on his left biceps near his elbow.

Carlos Rondon shows an impressive fastball

simulated innings and threw a total of 29 pitches without experiencing any problems. Throughout the session, his fastball consistently reached speeds ranging from 93 to 96 mph.

Pitching coach Matt Blake expressed his satisfaction with Carlos Rodon’s fastball performance during the recent session, describing it as the best they have witnessed so far. Blake highlighted the encouraging progress, particularly noting that Rodon’s fastball velocity was consistently in the range of 92 to 93 mph during his initial live session on Wednesday.

According to Aaron Boone, Carlos Rodon is set to face hitters once again on Thursday, and if everything goes smoothly, he could potentially start his rehab assignment within the next five to six days.

Boone commented that in terms of stuff, Carlos Rodon looked as impressive as he has seen him since spring. He mentioned that Rodon’s fastball had a noticeable extra burst without him exerting too much effort. Overall, Boone described it as another positive day for Carlos Rodon.

During his session against Willie Calhoun and Harrison Bader, Carlos Rodon stated that his main focus was on refining his fastball. He mentioned that in his next outing, he intends to shift his attention toward honing his secondary pitches.

Carlos Rodon acknowledged that his velocity was on point and he felt good during the session. He expressed the desire to face opponents in order to gain more valuable experience and enhance his performance.

Bader engaged in another pregame workout on Sunday, following his encounter with Carlos Rodon during the live batting practice. Boone remained uncertain about Bader’s availability for the upcoming Subway Series against the Mets on Tuesday and Wednesday, considering his strained hamstring. However, Boone did not completely dismiss the possibility either.

Boone acknowledged that Sunday’s session appeared to be successful and expressed awareness of Carlos Rodon’s eagerness to progress. However, he mentioned that he has yet to have a conclusive conversation with Rodon and the trainers regarding his status. Nonetheless, Boone observed that Carlos Rodon’s return seems imminent based on the progress he has made.

In his initial live session on Wednesday, Carlos Rodon had the opportunity to pitch to Jake Bauers and Oswaldo Cabrera, both of whom are left-handed hitters. Unfortunately, the game scheduled for that evening had to be postponed due to poor air quality. On Sunday, Carlos Rodon took on the challenge of facing Harrison Bader and Willie Calhoun, who were in rehab, mainly because the Yankees lacked left-handed hitters available on the bench for their matchup against the Red Sox.

Willie Calhoun got a taste of Rodon’s fastball

During Sunday afternoon’s session, the high-priced southpaw, valued at $162 million, engaged in a second live batting-practice session. Although he accidentally hit Willie Calhoun with a pitch, leading the outfielder to seek medical attention temporarily, the overall outcome was positive as Carlos Rodon edges closer to his eagerly anticipated rehab assignment.

Following the impact of the pitch, Willie Calhoun swiftly released his bat and displayed evident discomfort. He took a few moments to walk around while experiencing pain before eventually departing from the field accompanied by a trainer.

In an unexpected turn of events, the Yankees‘ leadoff hitter and starting right fielder for the final game of the series against the Red Sox appeared to be at risk of missing the game just a few hours later. However, following a brief visit to the trainer’s room, Willie Calhoun emerged in the clubhouse and confidently announced that he was ready to play, relieving any concerns of an injury crisis.

Willie Calhoun described the sensation of the ball hitting his nerve in the biceps as reminiscent of when he suffered a broken arm in a previous game. He initially had concerns about a potential reoccurrence of the injury, but reassured everyone that he is completely fine and back to full health.

He mentioned that the impact of Carlos Rodon’s fastball on his arm left him with a temporary sensation of complete numbness for a few minutes. However, the numbness gradually subsided, and the only noticeable effect was some minor swelling. Despite this, the swelling was not significant enough to prevent him from taking his place in the lineup for Sunday night’s game.

With outfielders Aaron Judge and Harrison Bader already sidelined due to injuries, the Yankees were heavily reliant on Calhoun’s presence on the field. In Saturday’s game against the Red Sox, he contributed a crucial go-ahead home run, helping secure a 3-1 victory. Over the past 12 games, Willie Calhoun has been in impressive form, boasting a batting average of .310 and an OPS of .927. Given his recent performance, his availability was of utmost importance to the team.

Willie Calhoun has always possessed the talent and ability to make a significant impact as a hitter, but injuries have hindered his progress throughout his early years in the major leagues. He has faced multiple setbacks, including two instances of being hit by pitches. The broken forearm incident was particularly damaging, and during spring training in 2020, he endured the impact of a 95 mph fastball to the jaw, which not only affected him physically but also had a lasting impact on his mental well-being. Despite these challenges, Willie Calhoun has remained resilient and continues to strive for success.

Boone expressed his concern regarding the incident, referring to it as a “scary moment.” He acknowledged Calhoun’s history of significant injuries from being hit by pitches, which added to the apprehension of the situation. However, Boone reassured that the impact seemed to have occurred in a relatively safe area, providing some relief. Overall, he expressed optimism that Calhoun would be fine after the incident.

However, Calhoun’s time on the field was brief. The incident occurred during his first at-bat against Rodon, instantly triggering memories of his previous injuries for Calhoun. He acknowledged that Carlos Rodon didn’t intend to hit him and understood that it was an errant pitch. However, the similarity between this incident and his previous arm injury caused immediate concern. When his arm went numb, he couldn’t help but worry about a recurrence. The impact hit a nerve, resulting in a tingling and numb sensation, but overall, Calhoun assured that he was fine.

Displaying genuine concern for his teammate, Carlos Rodon temporarily left the mound to assess Calhoun’s condition before resuming his session. Once he completed his outing, Rodon made a direct path through the clubhouse to the trainer’s room to inquire about Calhoun’s well-being, visibly relieved by the update he received.

Carlos Rodon acknowledged the unfortunate nature of the incident, expressing his disappointment at unintentionally hitting a teammate during the practice session. He expressed concern for Calhoun’s well-being and expressed his hope that the incident would not hinder his ability to play in upcoming games.

Boone happy over Rodon’s progress

Boone took the opportunity to have a conversation with Carlos Rodon during the break between his simulated innings. The manager aimed to provide support and ensure that the pitcher remained focused despite the unintended incident with Calhoun.

Boone acknowledged the challenge faced by Rodon in such a situation, emphasizing the unusual experience of facing teammates and unintentionally hitting one of them. He recognized that unexpected incidents can occur in the game of baseball, despite efforts to prevent them. However, he expressed relief that it appears no serious consequences resulted from the incident.

Carlos Rodon, who is recovering from a strain in his forearm muscle and back discomfort, completed two

Bader expressed his belief on Friday that a rehab assignment may not be necessary for him since he was placed on the injured list only on May 30th.

Boone remained uncertain about the timeline for Aaron Judge’s return as the outfielder sat out his seventh consecutive game on Sunday due to a sprained right big toe.

According to Boone, Ryan Weber, who has been on the 60-day IL with a forearm strain, has opted for the rest and rehab approach instead of undergoing surgery. Weber is scheduled to undergo a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection to aid in his recovery.

As the Yankees proceed with caution in Giancarlo Stanton’s recovery from a strained hamstring, he was not included in Sunday’s lineup. The team is gradually increasing his workload to ensure a smooth comeback.

Boone mentioned that considering Giancarlo Stanton’s absence from rehab games and the consecutive games he would have played, they wanted to be cautious and mindful of his condition. They aim to prioritize his well-being and make smart decisions regarding his return.

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