Yankees pitcher Carlos Rodon shows his grip during a spring...

Yankees pitcher Carlos Rodon shows his grip during a spring training baseball workout Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. Credit: AP/David J. Phillip

TAMPA, Fla. — The Yankees entered spring training a bit concerned about their organizational depth when it came to starting pitching.

It’s going to be tested right out of the gate.

Carlos Rodon, the club’s second-biggest free-agent signing (behind Aaron Judge, of course), will start the season on the injured list with what general manager Brian Cashman on Thursday called a “mild strain” in his left forearm. Rodon had Tommy John surgery in 2019.

Cashman anticipates that the lefthander, who signed a six-year, $162 million deal in the offseason, will be back “sometime in April.”

Rodon, who allowed five runs, six hits and a walk Sunday in his spring training debut against Atlanta, said Thursday: “I’m hoping this goes by fairly quickly. I can’t put a number on any of this. As far as I feel, I feel better than I did after I threw against Atlanta, for sure. But as you know, some of these things take time. I’m hoping it goes by quick, but you know how injuries go — you never know what happens down the road.”

Though Cashman declined to speculate and said it ultimately will be up to manager Aaron Boone and pitching coach Matt Blake, it is safe to assume the two pitchers competing in camp for the fifth-starter job — Domingo German and Clarke Schmidt — both will be slotted into the rotation to start the season.

It had been a mostly quiet camp in terms of injuries for the Yankees, a stretch dramatically broken Thursday when Cashman disclosed not only that Rodon will start the season on the IL but that relievers Tommy Kahnle and Lou Trivino will as well.

The Kahnle news did not come as a surprise. A few days earlier, Boone said the righthander, signed to a two-year, $11.5 million free-agent deal, was dealing with biceps tendinitis that would keep him from throwing for at least 10 days. Kahnle is expected back at some point in April.

Trivino has “a mild elbow ligament sprain” that will keep him out until at least May, Cashman said.

Rodon, however, was the headliner for a variety of reasons.

The Yankees are flush with reliever depth, with Michael King, Ron Marinaccio, Wandy Peralta and Clay Holmes leading the way.

That is not the case when it comes to starters. Cashman mentioned Deivi Garcia, a one-time top prospect who has fallen on hard times in recent years but has impressed opposition scouts in spring training, and Yoendrys Gomez as depth in that area. Gomez recently was sent to the minor-league camp.

“We’re going to find out,” Cashman said of that depth. “I feel good about what we’re seeing from the guys down here so far, and especially the pitchers trying to vie for the back end [German and Schmidt]. So they’ve done a really good job and looked really good.

“So, ultimately, outside of [Frankie] Montas, we haven’t lost anybody for significant time yet, but clearly it’s not a good situation when you’re down a starter that you were counting on. But at the same time, it’s March and it gives us time to allow it to heal and recover.”

Montas, a trade-deadline acquisition last year, ranks among Cashman’s worst deals. He arrived with a bum shoulder, one that eventually required surgery Feb. 21 that is likely to cost him most if not all of 2023.

Don’t expect much in the way of a blockbuster deal for a starter before camp ends — those rarely occur at this time of the baseball year — but the Yankees bringing in an experienced arm or two, whether via a trade or discards from other camps, is likely.

Cashman said Rodon dealt with something similar last May with the Giants and didn’t miss any time. That is among the reasons there isn’t a tremendous amount of concern regarding the injury — at least not yet.

“You just have to prevent looking at the calendar and force-feeding it and speeding the process up because you feel the outside pressure of it’s a new organization, fan base, stuff like that,” Cashman said. “He understands that. He’s a pro, but like anything else, it’s human nature of ‘I want to get out there and pitch.’

“When I was dealing with him, he’s like, ‘I dealt with this in May and it didn’t stop me.’ But it’s not May, it’s March, and we don’t want to play this into something different.”

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