Nestor Cortes and Carlos Rodon were among the first players to arrive at the Yankees training complex in Tampa, Florida. Both pitchers are looking to recover from their respective injury-hit seasons in 2023.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said internal reports on Cortes and Rodón have been positive since they began pitching under the supervision of club staff, ahead of the February 14 deadline by which pitchers must report. And the Bombers’ receivers.
Other notable Yankees seen on campus recently include Aaron Judge, Venezuelan Osvaldo Cabrera, Dominican Jason Dominguez, DJ LeMahieu, Nicaragua’s Jonathan Loaisiga, Venezuelan Gleyber Torres, Anthony Volpe and Austin Wells.
The work done by Cortes and Rodon is significant, given that the Yankees’ rotation is now better configured with the addition of free agent Marcus Stroman, joining a group that includes American League Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole as well as Clark Schmidt.
“I think if everything goes well we’ll have a good rotation, which is something you don’t want to be too sure about,” Cashman said.
Cortes, who was an All-Star in 2022, struggled to recover from a hamstring injury while preparing for the World Baseball Classic, finishing his 2023 campaign with a 5-2 record and an ERA of 4.97 in 12 starts.
“We know what Nestor will be able to do when he’s healthy,” Cashman said. “He was an All-Star and a high-level player for us last year before he was impacted by injuries, so we’re looking forward to getting that player back.”
In his first year with the Yankees after signing a six-year, $162 million contract, Rodon suffered several injury problems, delaying his debut until July. Rodon finished the season with a 3–8 record and 6.85 ERA in 14 starts.
“I know our guys are excited; “The feedback I’m getting is great, his arm action is good,” Cashman said. “Looks like he’s done a lot of work. “I’m very optimistic that Rodon can return to form and become the pitcher we know he is capable of.”
Speaking on the “Foul Territory” podcast, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he believed Rodon could not recover from injuries suffered last spring.
“The biggest thing I probably told him in the offseason is don’t go away,” Boone said. “The good thing for (Rodon) is that (he) is super talented. It’s just about being healthy. I really feel like Carlos is one of those guys who’s had an extraordinary winter; He is in good condition and is bowling well.
“…The biggest thing I want him to focus on is getting to the postseason, whether that means 170 or 180 or more innings, whatever it is. Focus on going out and doing what you physically need to do. I truly believe that if that’s the case, results will come with time. “Their stuff is great.”
Although the Yankees considered the asking prices for free agents Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery too high, causing them to pursue Stroman recently and also focus on the reliever market, Cashman sought another starter before Opening Day. Didn’t rule out the possibility of adding.
“We will constantly look to make adjustments if possible, but at the same time we like what we have,” Cashman said. “I think we have a lot of bases, but there are 162 games waiting for us.”
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