Yankees Notebook: Carlos Rodon’s back remains an issue, Lou Trivino needs Tommy John

With his back still barking, Carlos Rodon’s rehab has reached uncertain territory once again.

Aaron Boone said Tuesday that the Yankees are having more doctors look at the southpaw, who originally hit the shelf with a left forearm strain early in spring training. Boone said that Rodon’s shoulder and elbow haven’t caused issues, but the team is determining whether Rodon’s back is something he can work through, or something that requires more time off.

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The manager said Rodon has put his arm to use recently, including a bullpen a few days ago and a throwing session Monday. Boone added that the back issue is not hurting Rodon, but it’s impacting his mechanics.

“We need to get our arms around why he can’t get over that final hump. He’s not in any pain,” Boone said. “It’s just getting to positions the way he needs to move. We gotta get there.

“We’re getting as many eyes on it as we can to see what exactly the best course of action is.”

Rodon, the Yankees’ biggest addition of the offseason, signed a six-year, $162 million contract in December. The 30-year-old has dealt with injuries before, but he’s also coming off two straight All-Star campaigns with the White Sox and Giants.

Rodon is 27-13 with a 2.67 ERA and 422 strikeouts over 55 starts and 310.2 innings since the beginning of 2021. He’s also one of three Yankees starters currently on the injured list, joining Luis Severino (lat) and Frankie Montas (shoulder surgery).

Jhony Brito, Domingo German and Clarke Schmidt have filled in for the injured starters. The Yankees hope to have Severino back in two or three weeks, while Montas hasn’t started a throwing program yet.

Rodon’s timeline, meanwhile, remains up in the air thanks to his iffy back.

“I’m confident we’ll get there. More than anything, I think he’s frustrated. He wants to be here. He wants to be on the mound,” Boone said. “He’s chomping at that bit and working hard to get through it.”

Lou Trivino’s second opinion revealed bad news after the reliever spent Monday in Los Angeles with Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Trivino, who initially went down with a right elbow sprain, needs Tommy John surgery, according to Boone. The right-hander will undergo the procedure in L.A. on Wednesday.

Boone said he texted with Trivino and got the sense that the pitcher is understandably “bummed,” but also that “he’s gonna work his tail to get back at some point next year.”

Trivino, who has closing experience, could have helped the Yankees this year, especially given Clay Holmes’ inconsistencies. The same goes for two other injured relievers: Tommy Kahnle and Jonathan Loaisiga.


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Boone hopes to have Kahnle back from bicep tendinitis by the end of this month, while Loaisiga underwent successful surgery for a bone spur on Tuesday. The earliest he’s expected to return is August.

Despite having so many high-leverage relievers on the shelf, the Yankees entered Tuesday with the second-best ERA (2.91) in the American League. Boone said that the injuries have created opportunities for others, which could benefit the Yanks later in the year.

“We’re very early in the season, and we’ve got some guys out, whether it’s Lou, Tommy, Lo. Really good pitchers down there,” Boone said. “One thing we’ve seen is two or three guys, maybe in a way a little bit unexpected — the bullpen’s done a really nice job for us. So it has allowed us to find out about some guys that are earning more and more meaningful roles.”

Boone said that Aaron Judge is still hitting after going on the 10-day IL with a right hip strain Monday. The Yankees hope to activate him as soon as he’s eligible, and they want to keep him built up the best they can.

“He’s doing pretty well,” Boone said.

Former Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has exercised his opt-out with the Giants after signing a minor league contract with them on April 1.

Sanchez, who played in New York from 2015-2021, struggled in 16 games for San Francisco’s Triple-A affiliate, slashing .164/.319/.182 with zero homers and eight RBI.


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