Pitching Injuries Force Decisions For Boone & New York Yankees
In professional sports, you don't want to plan on injuries. However, you have to be smart and prepare for them. New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman lured the biggest pitching prize of the 2023 free agent market, Carlos Rodón, to the Bronx. The GM certainly didn't want to plan for his left-handed pitcher's replacement in mid-March.
Thursday morning, the organization announced that Rodón will be completely shut-down from pitching activities for the next seven to ten days. The hope is that Aaron Boone's new lefty ace will be ready and back in the rotation in mid-April. Rodón is the second starter that will have to be replaced to begin the season. That doesn't include Nestor Cortes, Jr. missing the World Baseball Classic with a hamstring injury. The bullpen has suffered, as well, with free agent signee and Latham native, Tommy Kahnle going down with a right-bicep injury last week. It's been a rough few days for the Yanks pitching staff.
Right-handed starting pitcher Frankie Montas underwent right shoulder surgery three weeks ago. He isn't expected to rejoin the rotation until late in the season. In a weird twist, Frankie Montas told spring training reporters Tuesday that he "wasn't 100%" when the Yankees traded for him? That's not good to hear, especially when 40% of Brian Cashman's anticipated starting rotation will be sidelined on Opening Day, March 30th. How does the GM feel about the bad luck with pitchers with the season looming less than three weeks away?
“It’s clearly not a good situation when you’re down a starter that you were counting on...I feel it’s part of doing business when you’re dealing with pitchers.” Cashman told nypost.com. The "it" Cashman is talking about is the "risk for injury." When asked if any of the tests on Montas at the time of the trade showed reason for concern. Cashman responded, “Everything came out aces.” What is he going to say? 'We knew he was hurt but figured we'd trade for him anyway? It happens. Where do the Yankees go from here?
Aaron Boone will turn to right-hander Domingo German to take over the #4 duties in the rotation. German has had his ups and downs. If the 30 year-old pitches like he did in 2019, going 18-4, the Yankees will be fine. In the #5 spot, Clarke Schmidt will get his big opportunity to solidify a spot in the Bronx. Schmidt pitched 57.1 innings last season for Boone with an impressive 3.12 ERA. If German and Schmidt can fill the-ever-large shoes of Montas and Rodón, the Yankees should weather the storm. That is if no one else gets hurt.