Yankees starting pitcher and prized acquisition Rodon to start season on IL

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The New York Yankees will be without left-handed starter and prized free agent acquisition Carlos Rodon to start the season in yet another blow to the Yankees’ pitching staff before the year has even begun.

Rodon, who received a $162 million contract to join New York this off-season, is suffering from a left forearm strain and will be on the injured list when the Yankees open the 2023 campaign in three weeks.

Rodon underwent an MRI on Wednesday, which revealed an injury similar to one that the two-time All-Star dealt with last season while with the San Francisco Giants.

“The finding was something, but not significant or serious,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters on Thursday. “Obviously, trying to pitch through stuff is not a good thing, especially this time of year.

“If this was in-season - pennant race, late in the game - he's still probably up and running. He had this last May with the Giants, and he didn't miss any time with it.”

While Rodon was able to play through the injury last season, he was 1-4 in his five May starts with a 5.67 ERA – easily the worst stretch of his 14-8 campaign.

Rodon reiterated to reporters on Thursday that he could play through the injury if it had occurred at a more crucial time of the season, but the Yankees would not put a timetable on the lefty making his debut in pinstripes.

Cashman said that Rodon will take at least a week recovering on a no-throw program before ramping him up.

“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 organisation, fan base, stuff like that,” Cashman said. “[Rodon] understands that. He's a pro. But like anything else, it's the human nature of, 'I want to get out there and pitch.'”

Cashman also announced that relievers Lou Trivino and Tommy Kahnle would also begin the season on the injured list. The Yankees’ rotation is already missing last year’s mid-season acquisition, Frankie Montas, who underwent shoulder surgery in February.

Domingo German, Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia are among the candidates to open the 2023 season in the Yankees’ starting rotation that will feature Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes and Luis Severino.

The Yankees open the season at home against the Giants on March 30.