Aaron Boone laments starting season with rash of injuries but gets some good news about Carlos Rodon
TAMPA, Fla. — Aaron Boone called it “not ideal” that the Yankees will go into the season with three of their original five starting pitchers on the injured list in Carlos Rodon, Luis Severino and Frankie Montas.
It’s also not ideal that relievers Tommy Kahnle and Lou Trivino and centerfielder Harrison Bader will begin the season on the IL. That’s nearly 25% of the Yankees’ expected 26-man Opening Day roster who will be on the shelf.
Montas is not expected back until the latter part of the season after shoulder surgery. But the good news for Boone is that Rodon (forearm strain) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Monday and felt really pumped up about it.
“Today was a big day for me,” Rodon said. “Like, I circled this week certainly on the calendar . . . Whatever the next thing is, whether it's live BP or a bullpen, for me, it's like game day. So that's kind of how I've been attacking this. I’m not looking at the timeline. At this point, I'm just so focused on what is the big day of my week? I want to conquer that day.”
The Yankees hope Rodon and Severino (lat strain) can be back by late April/early May.
Gerrit Cole will get the ball for the opener vs. San Francisco on Thursday. Clarke Schmidt is slated to start the second game, rookie Jhony Brito is expected to make his big-league debut on Sunday, and Nestor Cortes will pitch on Monday against the Phillies.
Schmidt ended spring training with a 5.03 ERA after allowing two runs in 4 2/3 innings to the Rays on Monday. He struck out seven.
Cortes is scheduled to face the Nationals on Tuesday in the Yankees’ final exhibition game in Washington.
Domingo German will stay back in Tampa and throw in preparation to start the fifth or sixth game of the season.
The last spots on the Yankees’ roster are final reliever (Ian Hamilton or Bay Shore’s Greg Weissert) and extra outfielder (Estevan Florial, Rafael Ortega or Willie Calhoun). Ortega homered in the Yankees’ 8-4 victory.
The team has to submit a roster by Thursday morning.