Yankees’ Carlos Rodón Named ‘Candidate to Watch’ by Former GM

Carlos Rodón

Getty Carlos Rodón is off to a strong start after an injury riddled 2023

The New York Yankees currently sit at the top of the American League with a 15-7 record. While the Yankees seem like a force to be reckoned with early they are not even at full strength.

Ace pitcher Gerrit Cole has been sidelined since spring training and will likely return in June, according to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman. The Yankees rotation has stepped up in Cole’s absence.

Carlos Rodón has been named a “candidate to watch” for the Comeback Player of the Year award, according to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden.

Rodón joined the Yankees in 2023 but made just 14 starts. He signed a six-year $142 million deal with the club before the 2023 season. In 2024, he seems healthy and back to pitching like the player the Yankees expected when they signed him.

“Rodón’s first season of a six-year, $162 million deal with the Yankees did not go well, to say the least; he made only 14 starts and went 3-8 with a 6.85 ERA while dealing with nagging injuries,” wrote Bowden. “This year he appears healthy, and his new cutter has made him more effective.”

Carlos Rodón’s Bounce Back

Rodón was an All-Star and finished in the top ten of Cy Young Award voting in 2021 and 2022. In 2021, as a member of the Chicago White Sox, he pitched to a 13-5 record and 2.37 ERA across his 24 starts. In 2022 he led the league in strikeouts per nine innings and had a 2.88 ERA for the San Francisco Giants.

Rodón had two stints on the injured list in 2023. His first stint was for a forearm strain that prevented him from pitching until July. His second stint stemmed from a hamstring injury. However, general manager Brian Cashman was pleased with what he was seeing from Rodón during spring training.

“He looks really good. Really pleased with the position he’s put himself in,” said Cashman in a February 17 story, according to NorthJersey.com’s Pete Caldera. “He’s coming after it hard and wants it bad and wants to pitch at a high level for our fan base.’’

His 6.85 ERA in 2023 was the worst of his career. However, through four starts in 2024, he has a 3.66 ERA and 18 strikeouts.

Rodón Is Helping Fill a Hole in the Yankees’ Rotation

The Yankees rotation was suddenly put in a tough position when Gerrit Cole was expected to miss an extended amount of time. Cole had made four consecutive Opening Day starts for the club and won the American League Cy Young Award in 2023.

Before the Yankees season opener Cole said he was “feeling good and hopes to be back around what’s often whispered as the target date for his return, June 1,” wrote Heyman.

Cole held a 15-4 record in 2023 with a 2.63 ERA. He covered 209 innings for the club in his 33 starts. His absence put pressure on Nester Cortes, Marcus Stroman and Rodón to step up while he recovered.

Cortes started for the club on opening day, and Rodón started game two. Rodón allowed just one run across 4.1 innings in his first start.

Now healthy and just one year removed from a stellar season with the Giants, Rodón has put himself in the conversation for the Comeback Player of the Year Award.

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