The New York Yankees may have to limit Carlos Rodón's workload in 2023, considering he's coming off a career-high 178 innings pitched, has designs of dominating in October, and is entering Year 1 of a six-year contract.
They certainly weren't aiming to limit him right from the opener, though.
Unfortunately, the Yankees had to shut down Rodón after just a single spring start with a "mild" strain at the back of his forearm. The left-hander was placed immediately into a "7-to-10 day no-throw" window in order to help his brachioradialis heal -- that's the non-UCL portion of his elbow that was irritated entering his Yankee debut.
Wait ... it was injured entering his debut, not during? Huh. That feels like a Yankees mistake. Onward...
While most are expecting Rodón to be on the shelf deep into April (to be safe), MLB insider Jon Heyman provided a surprisingly positive update after a week's worth of silence. Per Heyman:
"Carlos Rodon’s range of motion has quickly improved and he should be on a mound again soon. …"- Jon Heyman
Yankees injured ace Carlos Rodón "improving quickly"
We'll take "quickly improved"!
The Yankees won't rush Rodón back before his full rest cycle -- or, at least, they won't do it again! -- but any news is good news when it comes to something as unpredictable and finnicky as an elbow (and when it comes to a pitcher as important as Rodón).
When the lefty first went down, he was in a much different headspace, caught walking back to the clubhouse past reporters muttering, “I wish I didn’t feel like crap." At the time, all fans could do was cross their fingers and hope he was referring to emotional pain rather than a lingering physical issue.
So far, while there's no way of knowing how he'll respond when the training wheels are once again removed and he's eased back into mound work, it seems as if Rodón is either right on or ahead of schedule.
Our advice? Get your superstar pitcher back now, worry about limiting his innings later.