Blue Jays will start the 2023 season with an automatic advantage over the Yankees

New York Yankees Introduce Carlos Rodon
New York Yankees Introduce Carlos Rodon / New York Yankees/GettyImages

As we progress on through Spring Training, the Blue Jays have displayed all of the ups and downs that is always shown off in the early goings of the season.

For every 16 and 18-run games the Jays have had so far, there's been the 7-0 shutouts against the Twins and Braves. It's easy to get excited about the good days and discouraged by the bad ones, but the fact of the matter is: it's still early.

To make things easier on the Jays, the arch rival New York Yankees will start the regular season at an automatic disadvantage. Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters earlier on Thursday that Carlos Rodón will join Tommy Kahnle and Lou Trivino on the injured list to start the year.

Rodón was by far the biggest signing the Yankees made over the offseason on the pitching side of things, alongside Aaron Judge's massive contract to re-sign in the Bronx. The 30-year-old lefty is coming off of two consecutive breakout seasons in a row with the White Sox (2021) and Giants (2022).

Now, the two-time All-Star Game participant will be put on the shelf with a mild forearm strain. He is going to be fully shut down for seven to 10 days and won't be fully up to speed by Opening Day.

Kahnle, 33, is gearing up for his second stint on the club after spending the 2017-2020 seasons there. He is still a solid relief pitcher but has not topped 13 innings pitched in a single year since all the way back in 2019. His recently-reported case of biceps tendinitis will also keep him from joining the club on Opening Day.

Finally, the 31-year-old Trivino was acquired last year by New York in the now-infamous Frankie Montas trade. Things went well for him after the trade, as he made 25 appearances of 1.66 ERA-ball, but he will now be placed on the injured list with a mild elbow sprain. Reports indicate that he will be out until May.

With this latest injury news, the Yankees now have a whopping seven players projected to start the year on the shelf. Alongside Rodón, Kahnle and Trivino, catcher Ben Rortvedt (shoulder surgery), Luis Gil (Tommy John surgery), Frankie Montas (shoulder surgery) and Scott Effross (Tommy John) will miss time.

This news is most encouraging for Jays fans, as an opportunity to pull away from the Yankees in the division is always welcomed. However, Gerrit Cole and Luis Severino still project to top their rotation and the position player group has been mostly unscathed, so there is still going to be some stiff competition in the division.

The injuries to six pitchers will force unproven players like Matt Krook, Greg Weissert and Albert Abreu (amongst others) into the big league bullpen.

As the injury bug continues to run rampant through Yankees camp, the Jays should be feeling optimistic as the regular season approaches. As of right now, the club seems to be heading into 2023 with an automatic leg up over the Bronx Bombers.

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