Yankees injury woos mount as Opening Day nears

Yankees captain Aaron Judge during training on Feb 09, 2023.

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Injuries sapped the New York Yankees’ strength to such an extent last season that the team had its worst summer since 1991. The fear is haunting fans again with mounting Yankees injury woos when the Opening Days is barely three weeks away.

As the spring training progresses, the Yankees keep getting hurt. The team spent $162 million this offseason to add Carlos Rodon to their rotation. However, an injury scare has cast a shadow over this move. General manager Brian Cashman said Thursday that Carlos Rodon will miss the start of the season because he has a mild strain of the brachioradialis muscle in his left forearm.

Rodon told the Yankees’ training staff that the pain started after he threw a slider before his first game in the Grapefruit League on Sunday. Cashman said Rodon did well in the physical tests, so he went ahead with his plan to pitch against the Braves. He gave up five runs and six hits over two and a half innings.

But Rodon didn’t get better as quickly after that game, so the Yankees sent him to get an MRI on Wednesday, which showed the strain. According to the general manager, Rodon would return to the team “sometime in April” if everything went well.

rodon-kahnle-trevino-ny-yankees

The New York Yankees have already lost Tommy Kahnle and Lou Trivino to injury making their bullpen feeble and weak. The former is going to start the season on the injured list with biceps tendinitis. Kahnle was brought back this winter, but he hasn’t been able to pitch yet, and no one knows when he will be able to. There has been a lot of bad luck lately. But Cashman said that these recent pitching pickups didn’t make him feel “snakebit.”

Trivino is out after an elbow ligament sprain. His time away from the team is expected to last longer than Kahnle’s and Rodón’s, until at least May, Cashman said.

The Yankees are now down to two reliable starting pitchers, and right-hander Frankie Montas won’t be back until after the All-Star break because of inflammation in his right shoulder. He had arthroscopic surgery on that shoulder in February. After getting hurt while sprinting a few weeks ago, Nestor Cortes is still not fully healthy and had to give up his Team USA berth.

Another problem is that the Yankees traded away a lot of their pitching depth to get Montas and reliever Scott Effross, who is likely to be out for the year after having Tommy John surgery. J.P. Sears, a small starter who was exchanged for Montas, had two starts that were better than anything Montas did last year before he was sent out.

Yankees face Bader injury scare

Not just the Yankees’ pitching department is reeling under injury woos. Harrison Bader gave the team an injury scare on Thursday. Following a swing he took in his last at-bat of Wednesday’s game, he is feeling pain in his left oblique and getting medical tests.

According to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, during Bader’s last exhibition at-bat on Wednesday against his old team, the St. Louis Cardinals, he “swung and felt something in there.”

“We’ll see what we have there,” said Boone.

Friday, the Yankees said they would know more about the center fielder’s condition.

Yankees Harrison Bader after hitting a home run

Bader was supposed to play against the Red Sox on Thursday, but his oblique injury changed those plans. The Yankees replaced him with Rafael Ortega.

Depending on how Thursday’s tests go, Bader might be put on the injured list.

“Any time it’s the side [it’s concerning],” Boone said. “So we’ll see. But yeah, you don’t like to see that.”

Bader was one of the team’s most important players in the playoffs last year, and he is expected to be a big part of their success in 2023 because of how well he has hit since being traded to the Yankees and how well he defends in center field. Bader’s great defensive skills helped convince the Yankees to try Aaron Judge in left field so that Giancarlo Stanton could play in right field and the DH spot could be opened up.

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