Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes Jr. were two New York Yankees pitchers who succumbed to the injury bug in the 2023 MLB season. As a result, the Yankees regressed in the win column and left ace Gerrit Cole to carry the team on the mound. With an offseason to recuperate, the Yankees are counting on both to come back at full strength.
Rodon’s All-Star Level Production Needed For Yankees Order
Rodon joined the Yankees after a pair of All-Star seasons in 2021 with the Chicago White Sox and in 2022 as a member of the San Francisco Giants. His sub-3.00 ERA’s were a major draw for general manager Brian Cashman to bring the standout pitcher in.
Rodon went 3-8 in 2023 and saw his ERA balloon up to 6.85. He gave up more hits (65) than strikeouts (64) and posted a career-worst 5.79 FIP.
A forearm injury and stiff back cost Rodon ample playing time until his July 7 debut and he never found his rhythm as a result. His velocity was there, but his ability to seal games wasn’t. New York needs that to change in 2024.
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Yankees Hopeful Cortes’ Throwing Arm Will Recuperate and Return to Form
Cortes Jr. also took a step back in 2023. To his credit, Cortes Jr. did go 5-2 on the season, and maintained a strong five-run differential in wins on average, but saw his ERA more than double from 2.44 in 2022 to 4.97 this year.
The 28-year-old pitcher missed all of June and July with a shoulder strain in his throwing arm and was vocal about his frustration relating to his lackluster play on the mound.
A full recuperation is necessary for Cortes Jr. to also make better on his underwhelming playoff performances against the Cleveland Guardians and Houston Astros in 2022. Cortes Jr. went 1-2 in three games. He struck out less than three batters a contest while failing to see more than five innings pitched.
With Rodon and Cortes Jr. rounded into form, the Yankees stand a much better chance at bettering their 82-80 record and reclaiming supremacy in the AL East.