Yankees are getting strong reports on this starter in Spring Training

There was a lot of buzz around the offseason work that Carlos Rodon was doing ahead of his sophomore season with the Yankees, and the early returns are looking pretty good. Andy Martino of SNY reports that he was sitting in the mid-90s in his first live session, touching 97 MPH and being way ahead of schedule compared to his usual early-season velocity. A lot rides on the performance of Rodon, and the Yankees will need him to pitch at the level he did with the San Francisco Giants in 2022.

If the Yankees get the version of Carlos Rodon that they envisioned they were getting when he inked a six-year $162 million deal with the team last winter, the rotation could be one of the best in the American League. The excitement around what he can prove this upcoming season is brewing, and there’s plenty of optimism about what he can provide in 2024.

Carlos Rodon Showing Impressive Velocity Early in Yankees’ Camp

MLB: New York Mets at New York Yankees, carlos rodon
Jul 26, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (55) reacts during the fifth inning against the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Rodon was undoubtedly a disappointment in 2023, and the New York Yankees are hoping his ERA doesn’t balloon over 6.00 again in 2024. They’re relying on him to be their number two starter, and with the myriad of question marks on the roster, he knows he stands out as one of the biggest unknowns on the team. He could define their season, as if he’s able to pitch at the level he’s capable of, and this rotation suddenly becomes one of the most formidable in the sport.

It’s not often you can open Spring Training with your ace being the reigning American League Cy Young winner, but the hope is that Gerrit Cole won’t be the only stud in their rotation. Andy Martino’s quotes regarding the progress that Rodon has made breathe even more optimism into what could be a career-defining year for the southpaw:

Two people in attendance said that Rodon’s fastball sat in the mid-90s, and touched 97 mph. That is a contrast to last spring when Rodon featured a 90-92 mph fastball in his early live sessions, Yankees people say…the Yankees have a data point to reassure them that Rodon is healthy and throwing better than 12 months ago.

– Andy Martino

It wasn’t too long ago that Carlos Rodon was a Cy Young contender, and the movement profiles and velocity were all in line with his very best seasons at the Major League level. Health will be a big concern for him, and if the Yankees can manage his workload and keep him fresh throughout the season, he might end up being a serious Comeback Player of the Year contender. It’s hard to return to former glory, but it’s even harder to do so in the Bronx, where fans are unforgiving and the media can be relentless.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at New York Yankees
Jul 7, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (55) takes the field for the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a lot the Yankees have riding on Carlos Rodon, but they also have depth options that should allow them to stay afloat if they were to he were to skip a start here and there. Relying on a pitcher to stay healthy can be tricky, they’re always one through away from missing extended periods of time, but the Yankees have early signs to show that as of right now, Carlos Rodon is in great shape.

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