Yankees betting big on $162 million pitcher to bounce back

mlb: detroit tigers at new york yankees, carlos rodon
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

When Carlos Rodon Jr. joined the New York Yankees in 2022, the expectation was that he’d carry over his impactful play from the Chicago White Sox, and he did just that.

The only problem is his health didn’t cross over with his production in the 2023 campaign.

Yankees Seeing Good Progress From Rodon Jr. in Offseason Rehab

Rodon Jr. dealt with a forearm injury that kept him out for two weeks in March and hamstring tightness for much of this past August. With a poor showing in 2023, Gary Phillips of the New York Daily News shared this quote from Yankees head coach Aaron Boone on Rodon Jr.’s offseason rehabilitation progress and the expectation for him next year:

“I think he’s off to a really good start the first half of the winter here,” Boone said. “Making sure that his workout regimen, his throwing program and his buildup are all air-tight and making sure he’s in the best position so when he gets into spring training, he’s coming in with a great foundation.”

Rodon Jr. went from an MLB-leading 2.25 FIP in 2022 to a career-worst 5.79 marker in 2023, and while his ability to put away hitters was in accordance with his career numbers (64 SO in 64.1 IP), he did not deliver wins, finishing 3-8.

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Yankees Need Their Top Performers to Stay Healthy For a Championship Push in 2024

The righty pitcher was not satisfied with his performance on the mound, which he self-criticized on multiple occasions throughout the year.

Now, Rodon Jr. is looking to return to the form he had from 2021-22. Word from coach Boone is encouraging, as Rodon Jr. has roughly two more months to recover before Spring Training starts at the tail end of February.

The Yankees need their $162 million man to deliver the goods and help their rebuffed roster contend for a World Series they’ve yet to capture in the Aaron Judge era. Rodon will earn $27 million in 2024 and is under contract until 2028. The Yankees had a plethora of injuries throw off their rhythm last year, and Rodon Jr. breaking away from that mold will only help them make better on their 82-80 record.