The New York Yankees are likely just as desperate as the fans are to get left-hander Carlos Rodón back on a mound, then back in the rotation.
But, as we've learned from seemingly endless Luis Severino rehabs, they're not going to start that process until Rodón is fully healed -- plus two weeks or so.
According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Rodón wait might be over six weeks after his cortisone shot, which would mark a possible return date of June 23. This jives with what Ashley, his wife, noted on social media this past week.
But Heyman's dose of good news (and revision of the descriptive word "chronic") came with a minor caveat. Is Rodón joining Severino in unease and unhappiness surrounding the training staff's recommendations?
"It’s been a bit of a soap opera, as he was telling teammates he wanted to pitch but the Yankees were stopping him. From the team’s perspective, they didn’t want him pitching while he was reporting issues.- Jon Heyman
The elbow is said to feel great. The issue has been his back, which has caused stiffness, prohibited a full range of motion and limited velocity. While he publicly used the word 'chronic' to describe his back condition, that is a misnomer according to people around the team. …"
It's only natural to be skeptical of the Yankees medical staff's recommendations, but every quote that's come directly from Rodón hints at natural frustration associated with inaction, and not necessarily a disagreement with the team. He sounds angry at the situation, but not the organization.
Yankees Carlos Rodón wants to pitch, sets optimistic injury return estimate
Surely, Rodón wants to pitch; this is no secret. He even stated that he would've pitched through his elbow strain if the games had been stretch-run contests, noting that he did so last season (and struggled through it).
However, the idea that he's "telling teammates" the Yankees are holding him back when they shouldn't be doesn't seem accurate. Before receiving his injection, Rodón called his command “not good at all.” As a prideful pitcher, surely he wouldn't want to actively return while his back stiffness was causing serious command issues.
Every other quote from Rodón that could be read as agitation with the Yankees just sounds like a pitcher who wishes he could get on the mound right now, and not so much a pitcher who believes he's being actively wronged.
"I wanted to throw today. I wanted to throw yesterday. But that’s why we have the training staff we have, so I don’t do something stupid and make something worse. But I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t pushing."- Carlos Rodón, May 5
If he told his teammates he "wanted" to throw, it sounds like he was just similarly assuring them that he'd be alright, not asking them to fight the Yankees' recommendations by his side.
This team signed Rodón for a very good reason, and the ongoing performance from their Nos. 4 and 5 in the rotation is enough evidence to prove that the sooner he gets back, the better. He's aware of that, too, but this "soap opera" sounds more like doesn't want to hear what the training staff has to say, but also knows he needs to listen.