SEATTLE — Carlos Rodon has ramped up his rehab and is pleased with the results.
The Yankees’ left arm, who traveled with the team to the West Coast to continue recovering from a back strain that has delayed his return from a torn forearm, had his second bullpen session Monday at T-Mobile Park.
It was a more intense 20-ball session than the “touch and feel” session he threw in the Bronx on Friday.
Rodon is expected to have two more bullpen sessions on this trip, and could advance to a hitter next week.
“It’s up to the group. What we decide and what I can negotiate,” Rodon said with a laugh before the Yankees opened the series against the Mariners.
Rodon was encouraged by how it all felt, including that he was faster than in spring training when he first suffered a forearm strain.
Rodon had recovered from a forearm problem and was on his way to facing real hitters before a stiff back appeared. He’s anxious to start playing hitters again soon.
“I need that,” he said. “We all had the same perception. We’re just trying to get me back on the field.”
Anthony Rizzo is out of Monday’s lineup due to a stiff neck from a collision with Fernando Tatis Jr. in Sunday’s pickoff play.
Director Aaron Boone said, “It will be fine.” “I didn’t want to mess with it too much. As far as the head goes, he’s fine. But today he had a stiff neck. So he’s going to get treatment. Maybe tonight he’ll be able to play at some level off the bench. I expect to.”
Willie Calhoun hit a triple while Lizzo was away.
With Anthony Volpe taking the day off on Monday and Oswaldo Cabrera playing third base, Isaiah Kinner Falefa made his first start of the season at shortstop.
“One way or another, Izzy will have to play short at some point,” Boone said. “He seems to be playing elsewhere, so it would be nice to have him in the short program as well.”
Josh Donaldson (hamstring injury) continues his rehab at Double-A Somerset on Tuesday. Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring injury) could “probably” join them.
Gerrit Cole turned 10 years in the major leagues on Monday, an important milestone for any player.