Rodón 'optimistic' cortisone shot will speed recovery

Lefty says he's been told back issue is 'chronic,' and he doesn't have timetable for return

May 5th, 2023

ST. PETERSBURG –  is scheduled to receive a cortisone injection in his troublesome lower back early next week, and the Yankees’ left-hander said he is “definitely optimistic” the treatment can address an issue that doctors have told him is “chronic.”

Rodón has not thrown a big league pitch since signing a six-year, $162 million contract in December. When asked Friday if a July return could be realistic, Rodón said that he could not put a timeline on his recovery.

“I’ll get this injection and I’ll want to throw as soon as I can,” Rodón said. “Whenever my body tells me I can throw and everyone comes to an agreement that I can throw, I’ll start throwing. I would have thought I’d be pitching here for the club now.”

Rodón made one spring start for the Yankees, on March 5 against the Braves, before being placed on the injured list with a left forearm strain.

That injury has healed, and he is not experiencing pain, but he has found himself unable to throw as expected during sessions at the club’s complex in Tampa, Fla. Rodón said that he has been examined by three specialists, all of whom recommended the injection.

“Structurally, he’s OK, but there is a consensus from the few people that weighed in that this is what he needs and this should help,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. 

Rodón has not thrown for the past two days, and he won’t be able to toss for a few more days after the injection. Rodón said that his fastball velocity has been clocked between 87-90 mph, which he said is relatively normal for a bullpen session, but his control has been erratic.

“I was telling Gerrit [Cole], I’d throw a fastball and it would cut 2 feet, or I’d throw a sinker. And I don’t throw sinkers,” Rodón said. “The release height is just not normal, because my body is not letting me get to positions I’d normally get to.”

Rodón was received warmly as he entered the visitors’ clubhouse at Tropicana Field on Friday. Cole rose from a sofa and shouted loudly, and other teammates offered embraces.

The Yankees opened the regular season with three of their five envisioned starters on the injured list, with Luis Severino and Frankie Montas also shelved this spring. Rodón was expected to be the No. 2 starter behind Cole, having gone 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA in 31 starts as an All-Star for the Giants last season. 

Rodón said that it has been difficult to watch from afar as the Bombers look to climb out after a slower-than-expected start.

“It really sucks,” Rodón said. “I want to be pitching for the New York Yankees. I want to be pitching in this series, and with the boys. I want to be competing. It’s hard to sit here and not be doing it.”