Yankees’ Carlos Rodon takes next step in return

carlos rodon, yankees
Feb 17, 2023; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (55) throws a live bullpen session as he works out at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When Brian Cashman, the general manager of the New York Yankees, extended a six-year, $162 million offer to Carlos Rodon, he envisioned a top-tier duo for the starting pitching rotation.

The pairing of Gerrit Cole and Rodon was precisely what the Yankees required to make further strides in the playoffs. However, the unfortunate reality is that they ended up signing a player prone to injuries who has not yet thrown a single regular season inning this year.

It’s apparent that the Yankees might have made a substantial mistake in locking Rodon into a six-year contract. All they can do at this juncture is to remain patient and hope that his recurring back issue does not severely limit his performance.

The Yankees are finally seeing some positive progress with Carlos Rodon:

On a positive note, Rodon has made a few strides forward recently, beginning to throw against live batters. This week, he conducted a simulated session in the presence of owner Hal Steinbrenner and Cashman, underscoring the importance of his progress.

“Yeah, I mean to step on the mound and face some hitters, that’s a step towards the end goal of pitching here for the boys. So, yeah, it was a good step,” Rodon said on Wednesday via the New York Post.

Rodon’s performance was praiseworthy in 2022, recording a 2.88 ERA and 2.91 xFIP over 178 innings. Having pitched the highest number of innings in his career last season, it seemed the injury concerns were behind him.

Unfortunately, his inability to make it through spring training with the Yankees has further exacerbated a recurring problem for the team. His rate of 12 strikeouts per nine innings and a 75.1% left-on-base percentage suggest he could have provided considerable value, and while he still might, the final verdict remains undecided.

“Jake said he thought it was coming out good,” Rodon said of the feedback he received. “I was telling him that I wish I would have done a couple more sliders for strikes to him, but other than that, it was good feedback.

Rodon’s exceptional fastball and slider combination sets him apart.

According to his 2022 metrics, he uses his fastball 61.2% of the time and his slider 31.1%. His fastball yielded a .213 average against with a 27.9% whiff rate and a 24.1% put-away rate. His slider is genuinely superior, resulting in a .193 batting average and a 39% whiff rate, with a remarkable 64% more horizontal movement than the average pitcher.

In a realistic scenario, if Rodon can return for the second half of the 2023 season and make a substantial impact during the playoffs, his contract would be justified. For now, we anxiously await his potential return.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: