Yankees’ Aaron Boone threatens consequences for $162 million pitcher

mlb: arizona diamondbacks at new york yankees, carlos rodon
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

There was a palpable tension in the atmosphere when the New York Yankees‘ $162 million acquisition, Carlos Rodon, showed clear dissent to pitching coach Matt Blake after Friday night’s game. Such body language from a pitcher is usually a red flag. While Rodon later apologized for his behavior, manager Aaron Boone felt that if this had happened during the regular season, consequences would have been in order.

Blake was quite surprised by Rodon’s outburst, especially since it likely resulted from one of Rodon’s most disappointing performances of the season. The stats for Rodon, who’s on a $27 million average per season, are troubling: a 6.85 ERA in 64.1 innings, 8.95 strikeouts per nine, a 60.5% left-on-base rate, and a 27.1% ground ball rate. Giving up eight earned runs on just six hits and two walks without any outs is indeed a cause for concern.

“Last night was a little surprising,” Blake said, adding that he didn’t think the drop in velocity was injury related. “Sometimes he settles into the flow of the game and he didn’t get to that point last night. It’s something we will continue to look into.”

The Yankees Got a Tough Season From Carlos Rodon

Rodon struggled to find his groove in the Yankees’ loss and faced significant challenges. The Yankees have high hopes for him in 2024, expecting a return on their hefty investment in his skills. This year, however, has been marred with injuries for him, including a left forearm strain, a recurring back injury, and a hamstring issue. Given his history of injuries, this season has been particularly grueling.

Post-game, Boone didn’t mince words, calling out Rodon’s behavior as unacceptable.

“Sometimes you see a guy that’s in the middle of a great year that’s showing that kind of emotion and it’s a different storyline,” Boone said. “What happened is not acceptable and something we wanted to make sure we addressed properly. But we feel like we’re in a good spot and there’s no ill intentions there on Carlos’ part.” 

Lessons and Moving Forward

A veteran pitcher like Rodon should be well aware of the importance of respecting his team and coaches. Such behavior can set a wrong precedent for younger players and cultivate a negative environment. But as the Yankees’ season draws to a close and players gear up for their breaks, there’s hope for mending fences.

Rodon himself plans to take some time off to regroup after what has arguably been his most challenging professional season.

“He’s been in the league for a while. We want him to go out and have a lot of success and behave in the right ways,” Blake said, “and you know, this is one were going to look back on and wish we had back.”

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