Yankees’ $162 million pitcher is showing his All-Star version

MLB: New York Yankees at San Diego Padres, carlos rodon
Credit: David Frerker-USA TODAY Sports

When the Yankees invested $162 million in Carlos Rodon, they were aiming to see the high-caliber performance he demonstrated a couple of years ago with the San Francisco Giants. After a 2023 season marred by injuries, Rodon is making a commendable comeback this year, despite ranking in the lower percentiles in most pitching categories.

Rodon recently showcased his regained form in a game against the San Diego Padres, where he delivered six scoreless innings. He allowed only three hits and struck out two batters, throwing a total of 93 pitches. This performance helped lower his ERA to an impressive 2.95, positioning him as one of three Yankees starters with an ERA under 3.00, a testament to the team’s pitching dominance.

Rodon’s Role in the Yankees’ Rotation

At 31 years old, Rodon is recording 8.41 strikeouts and 2.80 walks per nine innings, maintaining an 87.2% left-on-base rate and a 32% ground ball rate. Having already pitched 61 innings this season—just shy of his total from 2023—Rodon is on track to far exceed last year’s innings, affirming his durability and effectiveness. His annual $27 million salary reflects his significant contribution, especially crucial in Gerrit Cole’s absence.

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

Rodon’s pitching arsenal includes a four-seam fastball, slider, and cutter. His fastball, which opponents are hitting at a .241 average, and his slider, with a .186 average against, are key to his success. The effectiveness of these pitches, combined with his improved control and fastball velocity averaging 95.3 mph, makes him a formidable opponent on the mound.

With Gerrit Cole’s impending return, the Yankees face tough decisions about their rotation. Nestor Cortes, despite having a strong season, might find himself the odd man out. However, Rodon has solidified his place in the rotation following his bounce-back from one of his most challenging professional seasons, proving that he remains a vital part of the Yankees’ pitching staff.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: