Watch Carlos Rodón's electric 2024 debut, Juan Soto injury scare in first Yankees AB

Soto went zero at-bats as a Yankee without an injury scare. Zero.
New York Yankees Photo Day
New York Yankees Photo Day / New York Yankees/GettyImages

In Sunday's first televised spring training game of the Yankees' 2024 season, Carlos Rodón on the mound represented the team's primary injury concern.

By the time the bottom of the first inning rolled around, though, Juan Soto supplanted him.

Rodón, unable to summon his peak velocity or any semblance of command in 2024, looked far better (as advertised) from the get go on Sunday afternoon. While rumors of 97 MPH bullpen sessions remain mere whispers for now, Rodón opened at 92-93 and was able to dance his way up to 95 by the end of a clean inning.

That set the table for Soto's first ever appearance in pinstripes -- and, on his very first swing, he topped a grounder to the right side to move Alex Verdugo from second to third, collapsing in the box in the process. He ran to first, seemingly unencumbered, but ... I guess ... we have to think about this now?

Yankees' Juan Soto falls over in batters' box after twisting ankle in first AB

Soto jogged out to right field for the second inning, and should be a little more careful moving forward on Sunday afternoon.

Shoutout to the Yankees for wearing pinstripes in their home spring opener to make Soto's debut look extra special. Anti-shoutout to Soto's ankle for driving him into the dirt like a screwdriver and making every Yankee fan's heart skip several beats.

The Yankees' offense recovered from the Soto scare in the first (and don't pretend like you weren't scared) with a ringing Aaron Judge gapper single to drive home Verdugo, who'd poked a double down the line. Anthony Rizzo followed with a double, while Gleyber Torres knocked in a second run with a productive grounder.

Would you like to see Rodón blaze through the first? Of course you would; he, too, returned for a second frame, in a positive sign for his early procedure and comfort level. He kept things under 40 pitches and struck out four, despite loading the bases with two outs on two walks and a hit batsman. It was a little 2023-y for a second there.

Eventually, Rodón will likely amp up the velocity a little further, Soto will get comfortable in the box, and everyone can enjoy a Yankees game again without constantly gasping.

Stay tuned for the remainder of the broadcast, when Jack Curry plans to drop a Blake Snell nugget (and considering he didn't drop it right before first pitch, it's probably not terribly exciting).