The Yankees are finally getting their money’s worth from $162 million pitcher

MLB: Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees, carlos rodon
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees delivered a spectacular offensive performance against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night, but it wasn’t just the bats that shone brightly. Starting pitcher Carlos Rodon also made headlines with another stellar outing, marking his second consecutive dominant start.

The Yankees Are Seeing Carlos Rodon’s Resurgence

After a rocky start to the season with a 4.11 ERA over the first three games, Rodon has dramatically turned his performance around. Initially, he pitched 15.1 innings, allowing seven earned runs and two homers while striking out 14. However, in his last two starts, Rodon has been exceptional, pitching 13 innings with only one earned run, three hits, and 12 strikeouts, boasting a 0.69 ERA.

This turnaround has seen his season ERA improve to 2.4, with a 3.99 FIP, 8.27 strikeouts per nine, an 87% left-on-base rate, and a 33.3% ground ball rate. Although his strikeout rate is down from previous seasons, Rodon is steadily finding his rhythm and stacking successful outings.

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays, carlos rodon
Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Rodon’s Pitching Mechanics and Outlook

On Saturday, Rodon pitched six innings, allowing just one run and two hits over 93 pitches.

“It’s always easy when the offense is firing like that,” Rodón said. “Getting an early lead I can just go right at the zone and get guys out. Hat’s off to them to get guys across the plate. Defensively, we played great. A good game overall.”

Rodon’s pitch velocity remains robust at 95.3 mph, consistent with his performances in past seasons, which indicates that he has overcome the injury issues that plagued his 2023 season. His fastball currently has a batting average against of .271, while his newly integrated cutter is holding batters to a .125 average, and his slider to a .200 average.

His slider, in particular, has been highly effective, achieving a 38% whiff rate and a 26.8% put-away rate. This pitch is generating 48% more horizontal movement and 9% more vertical movement than the average pitcher, which contributes to its deceptive quality.

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

With these recent performances, Rodon is demonstrating that he is returning to the form that made him one of the most dominant pitchers in 2022.

After shedding weight and moving past one of his more challenging seasons, he’s regaining confidence and showing that the Yankees’ investment in him is starting to pay dividends. He ranks in the 91st percentile in pitching run value and the 93rd percentile in fastball run value, and although still adjusting his breaking and offspeed pitches, Rodon is beginning to align with the high expectations set for him.

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