Yankees’ GM provides strong updates on these two struggling stars

MLB: General Manager's Meetings
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Something that the Yankees are hoping for next season is the resurgence of some of their veterans, as they dealt with a myriad of injuries that caused the team to slump to 82-80. With Brian Cashman having a media availability session after Marcus Stroman had his introductory presser over Zoom, he provided updates on both Carlos Rodon and Giancarlo Stanton, and they’re certainly positive ones. In regards to the former MVP, Cashman mentioned that he was in a ‘really good place’ in terms of his health, citing improved preparation.

As for Carlos Rodon, the long-time GM revealed that the left-hander had showed up early to Tampa to get his work started at the team’s player development complex before pitchers and catchers were supposed to report. If the Yankees are going to reach their ceiling in 2024, it lies on the shoulders of these two struggling stars, but these are positive updates that could indicate rebound seasons.

Yankees Hoping For Bounceback Seasons From Carlos Rodon and Giancarlo Stanton

mlb: new york yankees at tampa bay rays, carlos rodon
Aug 27, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (55) reacts after pitching against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Rodon was brutal in 2023, struggling to stay on the field as he was held to just 64.1 innings pitched and 14 starts, and when he was actually healthy he was a net negative for the team. He pitched to the tune of a 6.85 ERA, allowing 15 HRs and seeing his strikeout rate decrease by 11% as well. Rodon’s stuff was fine, as his Stuff+ didn’t drop dramatically, but command is something he’ll need to improve upon if he’s going to bounce back. Health and command go hand-in-hand, as it’s hard to get a consistent feel of your repertoire when you don’t consistently make starts.

If the Yankees want to have one of the best rotations in baseball, Carlos Rodon will need to pitch closer to his projections for 2024, as Steamer has high hopes for the southpaw. They project him to have a 3.79 ERA and strike out 194 batters in just 163 innings pitched, which would result in 3.1 fWAR. Getting a 3 WAR pitcher behind Gerrit Cole would give the team one of the best duos in the league, and there’s a chance that the left-hander could be even better. He’s not the only player who needs to stay healthy and rebound in 2024, as the offense was a problem for the 2023 squad too.

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
Sep 27, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits a two RBI single against the Toronto Blue Jays in the fifth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Giancarlo Stanton was horrendous in 2023 as well, posting an 89 wRC+ and -0.8 fWAR across 101 games for the Yankees, and he’ll need to be much better if he wants to hang onto a starting job. Pictures surfaced online of the slugger that made him look a lot leaner, and perhaps that’s a way to keep him both healthier and more mobile at the plate. One of the biggest issues for the right-handed slugger stems from his poor launch angle distribution, as he posted his lowest line drive rate ever (12.5%) and as a result, posted a career-low .210 BABIP.

In 2022, Stanton had a .227 BABIP, and this is after having a career .321 BABIP the years before, and this departure in hitting ability is a massive concern for his long-term viability. His OBP has dipped below .300 in each of the last two seasons, which have also been the two worst seasons of his career in terms of wRC+ as well. The Yankees need more from both of these stars going forward, as not only do the Yankees have a massive reliance on the two, but they also have large financial commitments tied to them both.