Carlos Rodon is used to throwing smoke. Rodon threw 20 pitches to Oswaldo Cabrera and Jake Bauers. The Yankees canceled outdoor batting practice and had players do pregame work inside before Wednesday’ s game against the White Sox was postponed, but that didn’ t stop Rodon from throwing outside.
Carlos Rodon is used to throwing smoke. On Wednesday, he pitched beneath it.
Rodon took the Yankee Stadium mound for the first time as a pinstriper for an expected session against live hitters, a notable stage in his rehab following a spring training forearm injury and, more recently, back issues. Rodon threw 20 pitches to Oswaldo Cabrera and Jake Bauers. Or, as Rodon called him, “Rake” Bauers.
“It was a big step,” said Rodon, who threw all his pitches. His fastball sat between 92 and 94 miles per hour, a perfectly reasonable range at this point in his recovery.
Rodon’s first trip to the Bronx mound as a Yankee came under unusual circumstances, and not just because he threw in front of empty seats.
Smoke from Canadian wildfires has been blanketing New York City. The Yankees canceled outdoor batting practice and had players do pregame work inside before Wednesday’s game against the White Sox was postponed, but that didn’t stop Rodon from throwing outside.
“We just decided we were gonna do it and everyone was on board with it,” Aaron Boone said.
Added Rodon: “It’s a little cloudy out there. It’s not so clear. The visibility is not so great. It was interesting.
“It’s thick air, that’s for sure.”
Rodon was more focused on his pitches, though. He wished he had thrown more sliders for strikes, but he was happy with his overall results.
Boone said the lefty will likely throw two more live sessions, with the next tentatively scheduled for Sunday. The second session would then come next Thursday, but the manager didn’t completely rule out the possibility of Rodon getting into a game at that point.
JUDGE OFFICIALLY ON IL
The Yankees officially placed Aaron Judge on the 10-day injured list Wednesday with a right big toe sprain. The move is retroactive to June 4.
Boone said the Yankees won’t have an idea of Judge’s timeline until this weekend, as he’s still sore from a PRP injection he received Tuesday. Boone didn’t have any updates on the slugger’s next steps, either.
Judge injured his toe while making a fence-breaking catch at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.
The Yankees also added reliever Ryan Weber to the 60-day IL with a UCL sprain. The team signed Billy McKinney to a major league contract and selected him to the active roster.
McKinney, a member of the Yankees organization from 2016-2018 before returning this year, was slashing .274/.388/.511 with nine home runs and 25 RBI over 40 games at Triple-A. He has played all three outfield positions and first base for the RailRiders.
“A little defensive flexibility,” Boone said of the left-handed hitter. “Been raking for a month and a half now. Really, really playing well. Kind of earned the opportunity.”
Boone said Luis Severino will start the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader, assuming those games are played against the White Sox. Randy Vasquez will pitch Game 2 as the “27th man.”
No roster move has been made for Nestor Cortes yet, but he will go on the IL with a shoulder strain.