...By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
Carlos Rodon, who was signed to the Yankees for a six-year, $162 million deal this offseason, has hit yet another roadblock in his journey to make his debut with the team.
He was supposed to face hitters for the first time since being sidelined with a forearm muscle strain in early March on Monday or Tuesday, but that has been delayed by back stiffness, according to Aaron Boone.
The manager said Rodon did throw on Tuesday in Tampa, with a bullpen session scheduled for Wednesday.
If that goes well, he would then face hitters in a live batting practice session on Friday.
The delay means that Rodon is unlikely to return to the team in April, as previously anticipated by general manager Brian Cashman.
Boone said on Tuesday that the original timeline seems “a little aggressive,” in terms of getting Rodon built up enough to return.
Rodon only made one Grapefruit League start before being shut down for nine days with the forearm injury, meaning he would need close to a spring training-like ramp-up.
Boone was unsure whether Rodon would be ready to advance to a rehab assignment after Friday’s live session.
While the back issue is a setback for Rodon, Boone said that his forearm and elbow were both doing well.
Luis Severino, who is recovering from a strained lat, threw a 22-pitch bullpen session on Monday, and is scheduled to throw another on Thursday, after which he hopes to advance to facing live hitters.
Boone also addressed Guardians reliever James Karinchak’s enthusiastic celebration on Monday night, after he got out of a jam in the eighth inning.
Boone insisted he did not have any issues with the celebration, saying “the bottom line is he got three big outs from the middle of our order in a huge spot.
They were some big outs he got.”
He also provided updates on Josh Donaldson, who has been hitting full bore back in New York, and Harrison Bader, who has taken batting practice off a high-velocity machine and is expected to ramp up his baseball activity this weekend.
Lou Trivino, who has been sidelined with a UCL sprain, threw another bullpen session on Tuesday and is scheduled for a “two-up bullpen” on Friday.