Carlos Rodon inches closer to return, unleashes full arsenal against hitters

Carlos Rodon of the New York Yankees

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Amidst the hazardous haze, there was a positive moment for the Yankees on Wednesday. Carlos Rodon made his return to the pitcher’s mound for the first time after his injury, facing off against the team’s hitters.

Last week, while the Yankees were away on a road trip to the West Coast, Carlos Rodon took the opportunity to throw several bullpen sessions. But on Wednesday, he took the next step in his preparation by facing hitters. He squared off against Oswaldo Cabrera and Jake Bauers, testing his pitching skills in live-game situations.

Carlos Rodon accepted that stepping on the mound and facing hitters was a positive step toward his goal of pitching for the team. He made these remarks before the second game of a three-game series against his former team, the White Sox, which ultimately got postponed due to hazardous air quality in New York.

The postponed game will be rescheduled and played as part of a doubleheader on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.

The left-handed starting pitcher was first unable to play in March due to a strained elbow from pitching. Then, his return to the mound was further delayed by discomfort in his back. However, he has been with the team since the last week of May.

Manager Aaron Boone stated that it was an easy choice to let Carlos Rodon and the rest of the team practice on the field despite the adverse weather conditions. He mentioned that they were aware the practice session would be brief and emphasized that everyone agreed with the decision.

Carlos Rodon, who is 30 years old, revealed that he threw a variety of pitches in his session, estimating that his velocity ranged between 92-94 mph. He performed in front of a notable audience that consisted of owner Hal Steinbrenner, general manager Brian Cashman, advisor Omar Minaya, and former Yankees’ pitcher CC Sabathia.

Carlos Rodon mentioned that Jake had said the ball was coming out well for him. He acknowledged that he had thrown a few sliders for strikes to Jake but overall received positive feedback. The Yankees starter stated that he had thrown one good slider to Oswaldo and his fastballs were in the desired zone, leading to a few swings and misses. Carlos Rodon concluded by saying that his performance was satisfactory for the day.

He expressed his intention to improve his accuracy by putting the ball in the zone more frequently. Carlos Rodon mentioned being primarily concerned with achieving favorable outcomes at the moment. Furthermore, he anticipated that the next phase of his rehabilitation process would involve engaging in another session of live batting practice shortly.

During the offseason, the Yankees made a significant signing by adding the two-time All-Star to their roster. They committed to a six-year contract worth $162 million. However, they have yet to witness Carlos Rodon’s debut on the pitching mound.

Before joining the Yankees, Carlos Rodon had a tenure of seven seasons with the White Sox, during which he received an All-Star recognition in 2021. In the previous season, he played for the Giants.

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