Yankees’ $162 million pitcher finally delivers signs of progress

MLB: New York Yankees at Pittsburgh Pirates
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a rough first season in pinstripes for New York Yankees pitcher Carlos Rodon, but Sunday saw him deliver a performance reminiscent of his past few seasons. Rodon has struggled this season after signing a $162 million deal with New York, but he finally signs of progress in Sunday’s performance.

Carlos Rodon reaches impressive milestone in stellar performance against the Pirates

In their 3-2 loss against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Rodon turned in arguably his best performance of the season, tossing 6.2 quality innings and allowing only three earned runs and six hits while striking out a season-high 10 batters.

Rodon also reached the 1,000 strikeout milestone for his career Sunday.

“Man, I thought he was really good,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said to the New York Post. “Another really good step and a peek into what he is when he’s going and right.”

Rodon is ending his first season with the Yankees on a positive note

It has not been a fun first season in New York for the 30-year-old left-hander. In 12 starts this season, Rodon is 3-6 with a 5.90 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP in 58 innings pitched.

However, Rodon has started to show some signs of resurgence, as he has tossed at least five innings in his last two starts and has struck out 19 in his last 11.2 innings. Strikeouts were hard to come by for Rodon prior to this past week, as he had eclipsed five strikeouts in just two of his first 10 starts.

Looking back three starts ago against the Detroit Tigers, Rodon was getting hit hard, and could not put hitters away with any of his pitches. Now, he is locating his power fastball better, which is the pitch he throws nearly 60% of the time, according to Baseball Savant, and it is yielding positive results.

The Yankees’ season is essentially over, with just 12 games remaining on the schedule. They need a miracle to reach the postseason. But it is encouraging to see Rodon figuring things out now in time for next season, where he will look to return to ace form.

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