Carlos Rodon throws a 30-pitch session, Yankees need to fill up three vacancies

Table of Contents

TAMPA, Fl. — On Monday, Carlos Rodon took his comeback to the next level by throwing a 30-pitch bullpen session in which he used breaking balls again.

The left-handed Yankees pitcher threw only 15 fastballs last Thursday. However, on Monday, he improved to five sliders and five curveballs. His pitches carried more force and intensity. But it looks certain that the Yankees star signing will be on the injured list when the team began its 2023 season on March 30 following a forearm strain.

“Today was a big day for me,” Carlos Rodon said. “This week, I circled it on the calendar. I knew it was going to be my second pen and I wanted to go with a little more intensity and throw like I’d throw a real bullpen instead of throwing 15 fastballs. So that’s kind of my mindset. Whatever the next thing is, whether it’s live [batting practice] or a bullpen, for me it’s like game day. That’s how I’ve been attacking this.”

Carlos Rodon didn’t know what the next step would be. He could either pitch more in another bullpen or face batters in a controlled setting.

But mixing in sliders could be a key for Carlos Rodon. It was the same pitch that caused the pain in the lead-up to his first Grapefruit League start on March 5.

Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes, who are among Yankees players with injuries, are watching others training at spring camp in Tampa, Fl. class=

Yet, when he remained behind in Tampa to finish his recovery while the team went north on Monday, Carlos Rodon knew he had more obstacles ahead before he was in the clear.

“I think to really tell, I’m going to have to throw to hitters and see at that super-high intensity — see how it reacts from there,” he said.

Yankees have three vacancies

Monday, the Yankees were still trying to figure out who would fill the last three spots on their 26-man roster. They had not made a decision by the time they left camp.

The three vacancies were thought to be for a fifth starter (possibly Jhony Brito), an additional outfielder (between Estevan Florial, Rafael Ortega, and Willie Calhoun), and the last bullpen position (between Greg Weissert and Ian Hamilton).

All six of those roster hopefuls were scheduled to go to Washington with the Yankees for Tuesday’s game. Hamilton, who did not let a run in 8 1/3 innings this spring, has an opt-out clause in his contract that will kick in if the Yankees do not add him to the roster by Tuesday.

“We don’t plan on having him go anywhere,” general manager Brian Cashman said.

Cashman said that it was “possible” that the Yankees could add a player from outside the team before Opening Day.

“Our dialogue is ongoing,” he said. “It’s always hard to pull off anything, but you have to go through the motions and see if it’s possible.”

Domingo German is going to stay in Tampa and pitch in a minor league game on Wednesday. That means he will start the fifth regular-season game.

Clarke Schmidt ended a good spring by striking out seven batters in 4 ¹/₃ innings. He said that he started to run out of steam late, but he made 66 pitches.

On Monday, four pitches hit the Yankees, but none of them seemed to do much damage. Spencer Henson got hit twice, while Anthony Rizzo and Willie Calhoun each got hit once.

Every spring, the last Grapefruit League game is often one of the fastest games because teams are eager to get out of camp. With the pitch clock, Monday’s game against the Rays was expected to go even faster. This was one of the longest games the Yankees played this spring, lasting 2 hours and 51 minutes.

Nestor Cortes will start against the Nationals at 12:05 p.m. at Nationals Park in the last tune-up before Opening Day.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Pinstripes Nation!

Your Daily Dose of Yankees Magic Delivered to Your Inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Don't Miss Any of the Latest Yankees News, Rumors, and Exclusive Offers!