Yankees’ $162 million pitcher looking to bounce back in 2024

mlb: new york yankees at tampa bay rays, carlos rodon
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Two consecutive All-Star appearances from SP Carlos Rodon earned him a six-year, $162 million contract with the New York Yankees ahead of the 2023 MLB season. A down year has Rodon and the franchise preparing for a rebound.

Rodon and Coaches Looking to Overcome Injury Bug, Poor Play

Greg Joyce of the New York Post shared comments from Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake, who addressed the approach that he and Rodon have been taking to iron out the wrinkles in his game heading into next Spring:

“Obviously having some of the struggles this year, there are more things we want to stay on top of in the offseason to make sure we’re heading in on a good path to spring training.”

Rodon backtracked from his strong play in 2021 with the Chicago White Sox and in 2022 as a member of the San Francisco Giants. His 6.85 ERA and 1.446 WHIP were both well above his career averages.

Much of his subpar play could be attributed to being banged up throughout the year. Rodon first sustained a forearm injury in Spring training. He was then hampered with a stiff back starting in April that delayed his Yankees debut to July 7. Injuries held Rodon to only 64.1 innings pitched as the nine-year veteran never found his rhythm.

Signs That Rodon Can Round Back into All-Star Form For Yankees

Despite the muscle strain in his throwing forearm, Rodon maintained a nearly identical 95.3 mph fastball from 2022 which ranked in the 73rd percentile among all pitchers. His 30.5 percent chase percentage also placed him in the 71st percentile as he forced batters to be undisciplined at the plate.

Rodon exhibited speed and a semblance of command on the mound. Though he didn’t have the season he’d have hoped for and was one of many pitchers in the Yankees’ rotation that saw disappointing setbacks, Rodon taking the offseason to heal and train is the best course of action for him and the Yankees to return to the playoffs.

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