Credit: Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

New York Yankees’ $162 million prized possession, Carlos Rodon, is yet to pitch this season. He abandoned San Francisco Giants for the New York-based club, but the transition has been nothing as imagined. His extended injury history started troubling him even before the season began. Something kept happening one after the other, and its July with no signs of Rodon in the bullpen.

On the other hand, the Yankees already paralyzed rotation received an additional blow when left-hander Nestor Cortes suffered from shoulder inflammation. He was given a plasma injection which halted his throwing activities for two long weeks. Just recently, he resumed throwing and is eyeing an early return if all things pan out well.


Carlos Rodon To Play His Last Rehab Assignment, Yankees Debut Likely Next Week

Carlos Rodon
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The Yankees’ most anticipated acquisition of this year’s off-season, Carlos Rodon, has been sidelined due to multiple injuries. After dealing with a forearm strain, a chronic back stiffness derailed his recovery process. Regardless, after three long months of waiting time, the pitcher is back on the mound, itching for a debut in pinstripes. Rodon began hitting bullpen sessions a few weeks ago, and the Yankees coaching crew really liked his improvement. As a result, a rehab assignment was scheduled with Double-A Patriots to test out if Rodon was fit enough to pitch for a whole game.

In the first two starts, Carlos Rodon pitches close to four-five innings with significant pitch count and velocity. Now, he will play his last game of the assignment with High-A Hudson Valley since Double-A and Triple-A teams are on the road. If the left-hander successfully clears it, he will be cleared to join the roster and can make his debut next Friday. Meanwhile, the Yankees manager is extremely excited about Rodon’s debut. He views him as a “difference-maker” player who could change the tides in the latter half of the season. The return of Rodon will not only strengthen the team’s pitching depth but also shed some of the workload on other pitchers. Overall, the southpaw’s return is a welcoming sign for the struggling Bronx Bombers.

Nestor Cortes Eyeing A Late July Return

Nestor Cortes
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On the flip side, Nestor Cortes has finally resumed pitching from the mound. He was sent on a two-week break after receiving a plasma injection to cure shoulder inflammation. The Yankees starter recently threw his first bullpen session on Friday and noticed positive improvement. He called his recent move a “big leap” towards a comeback. Cortes threw a total of 20 pitches which included fastballs, cutters, and a few sliders. If the left-hander feels fine after rest, he will be allowed to throw another bullpen session on Monday and Thursday.

After successfully crossing this hurdle, Nestor Cortes will have to face live batters and hit a rehab assignment before returning back to the bullpen. It’s a long road ahead for Cortes. But the preliminary return window available for him would be late July. Along with Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortes’ return is equally important. It’s high time the Yankees attain the luxury of having a complete bullpen. It could strengthen the defensive front widely, which will elevate the team’s winning odds.