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

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees, carlos rodon
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2024 MLB season began, the New York Yankees faced significant challenges within their starting rotation, particularly with pitchers Nestor Cortes and Carlos Rodon, who were both rebounding from serious injuries.

Yankees’ Rotation Resurgence

Cortes spent the offseason recovering from a rotator cuff strain, while Rodon dealt with multiple ailments, including forearm issues, a chronic back injury, and hamstring troubles. Fortunately, these concerns have been addressed, paving the way for Rodon’s standout comeback this season.

Carlos Rodon’s Stellar Performance Anchors Yankees’ Pitching Staff

Carlos Rodon, after a disappointing previous year marred by injuries, has emerged as a key performer in the Yankees’ rotation.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles, carlos rodon
Credit: James A. Pittman-USA TODAY Sports

Over 80 innings pitched this season, he has surpassed his total from 2023 by 15.2 innings, posting an impressive 2.93 ERA and a 4.09 FIP. His strikeout rate stands at 88.33 per nine innings, coupled with an 84.7% left-on-base rate and a 33% ground ball rate, showcasing his effectiveness on the mound. Notably, his walks per nine have dropped to a career-low of 2.25, exemplifying his control and command.

Rodon’s arsenal is headlined by his powerful fastball, which averages 95.4 mph and holds batters to a .230 average.

Complementing his fastball is a devastating slider—his strikeout pitch—which he utilizes 25.5% of the time, yielding a .180 batting average and .315 slugging percentage against it. His slider has been particularly effective, responsible for 39 of his strikeouts over 89 at-bats this season. While Rodon occasionally uses a change-up and cutter, he primarily focuses on his two best pitches to dominate hitters.

With Gerrit Cole absent from the rotation, the expectations for the Yankees’ pitching staff were uncertain. However, players like Luis Gil have stepped up, with Gil himself trending towards an All-Star selection. Despite Clarke Schmidt’s recent setback with a right lat injury, the overall performance of the rotation has been commendable.

Rodon, now firmly established as a key number two in the rotation, provides the Yankees with depth and versatility, significantly bolstering their pitching lineup as they look forward to a fully operational rotation in the near future.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: