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Carlos Rodon finally feels at home with Yankees

Carlos Rodon Yankees
Yankees starter Carlos Rodon has bounced back strong after a disappointing 2023 season. (Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports)

Carlos Rodon finally feels at home with Yankees

By many accounts, New York Yankees starter Carlos Rodon had the worst season of his MLB career in his first season in pinstripes in 2023!

He finished with a 6.85 ERA across 14 starts with a 5.79 FIP. In seasons were he threw at least 50 innings, he surrendered his highest slugging percentage, OPS and home run rate of his career. While he dealt with myriad injuries to his forearm and back, it was a season mired by frustration, which magnified when he ended 2023 allowing eight earned runs without recording a single out against Kansas City on Sept. 29.

Amid Gerrit Cole’s elbow injury prior to the 2024 season, there were plenty of skepticism about the Yankees’ rotation. But Rodon has answered the bell, and doesn’t feel as intimidated when he’s been on the mound through the first 1.5 months.

“I sit down in the dugout now and look around, and I feel pretty comfortable sitting in this stadium,” Rodón said after his most recent start Saturday, according to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. “I thought about that the first month here in April. I’m looking around and I’m like, ‘This doesn’t feel overwhelming anymore. This feels like home.’”

Rodon, 31, owns a 3.27 ERA across 55.0 innings to begin 2024. He’s still not fanning batters at an elite rate, plus his 4.48 FIP and 4.31 xFIP suggest there will be some regression. But the southpaw has bounced back in an incredibly strong way–when the rotation desperately needed it.

He’s not the only one. Nestor Cortes Jr. looks closer to his 2022 form than he did last season; Clarke Schmidt owns a sub-3.00 ERA after sporting a 4.64 ERA in his first full season as a starter last year and Luis Gil has emerged onto the scene after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2022. Marcus Stroman’s addition has helped, too.

The Yankees rotation has the third-best ERA and strikeout rate in MLB. It’s a lot of weight to carry with Cole’s absence, but it’s an important reason why they carry the best record in the American League at 33-15.

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