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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

I'm All In On Rodon

by Paul Semendinger

December 11, 2022

***

Yesterday was Carlos Rodon's 30th birthday. It would have been nice if his big gift was a contract from the New York Yankees.


It wasn't to be, but today is another day - and maybe the big birthday gift can be just one day delayed.


I am a firm believer that the best Yankees teams feature quality left-handed starting pitching. Carlos Rodon is a lefty - and a very good one at that.


I am often leery of players who have career years just before they head to free agency, but that isn't the case with Rodon. He has now had two solid seasons consecutively.


In 2021, Rodon went 13-5, 2.37 for the White Sox. He then signed a one-year deal with the San Francisco Giants and in 2022, he went 14-8, 2.88.


You know, I like those numbers. Over the last two seasons, Rodon has pitched to a combined 27-13 record with a nifty 2.67 ERA. Further, his WHIP (a stat I pay close attention to for pitchers) over that span is 0.998 meaning he allows just under one base runner per inning pitched. Impressive! Further, he strikes out 12.2 batters per nine innings.


What I also like about Rodon is that after coming back from injuries, he's been able to log a good amount of innings. Her threw 178 innings last year. That is a solid baseline. It's not a stretch to see him getting close to 190 or 200 innings pitched in 2023.


Put that all together and what do you have? A pitcher who wins, allows few base runners, strikes out a bunch of guys, and limits the other team from scoring. He's also a left-handed pitcher who would be pitching in Yankee Stadium. Yeah. What's there not to like?


***

The Yankees have one other lefty, Nestor Cortes. Nifty Nestor has been a revelation for the Yankees, and at times,. he's been called the Yankees' ace.


Here's a quick comparison of the two pitchers over the last two seasons:


Innings:

Rodon - 310.2

Cortes - 251.1


Win/Loss:

Rodon - 27-13

Cortes - 14-7


ERA:

Rodon - 2.67

Cortes - 2.61


WHIP:

Rodon - 0.998

Cortes - 0.979


K/9:

Rodon - 12.2

Cortes - 9.5


In short, if one is to believe in Nestor Cortes, there's no reason to also not believe in Carlos Rodon.


***

If the Yankees acquire Rodon, I see him slotting in as the team's number two starter.


How's this for a starting rotation (with projected stats for 2023 via Baseball-Reference)?


Gerrit Cole: 13-8, 3.47 (179 innings)

Carlos Rodon: 12-8. 3.06 (162 innings)

Luis Severino: 7-4, 3.45 (107 innings)

Nestor Cortes: 8-5, 3.02 (143 innings)

Frankie Montas: 8-10, 3.81 (151 innings)


To my eye, it seems like Baseball-Reference's numbers fall a bit short of what I would expect in regard to the innings. I see each of those pitchers being able to increase those projected innings by about 10% (at least). With that projection, the innings look come as follows:


Cole- 197

Rodon - 178

Severino - 117 (but if he's healthy, and he'll be pitching for a new contract, I can see him exceeding 130 innings)

Cortes - 157

Montas - 165


That would be a very reliable and strong starting rotation.


What I like even more is that the projections all have the pitchers with sub-4.00 earned run averages. When was the last time , if ever, the Yankees had five starters all throwing over 120 innings and all having sub-4.00 ERA's?


***

According to reports, Hal Steinbrenner gave Aaron Judge his word that he'd be spending more to build a stronger team for 2023. So far the Yankees have brought back players, but they have not improved the team.


Carlos Rodon would be a big improvement.


Further, if the Yankees starting pitchers are allowing so few runs, that would take much pressure off Oswald Peraza and any other young players who make the team to have to hit a lot. For their rookie seasons, they'd be able to concentrate on just making the plays in the field. It's already part of Peraza's profile that he plays exceptional defense. This also makes the Yankees stronger.


***

Once Rodon is signed (if he's signed), the Yankees would then be able to address the next big area - left field. If they can find a strong bat who is also a capable defender, my goodness(!), would they be setting up the 2023 team for success!


But, let's not get ahead of ourselves.


Get the best available pitcher, Carlos Rodon, and then take the next big step forward.



25 Comments


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Dec 11, 2022

I'm very supportive of signing Rodan.



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yankeesblog
Dec 12, 2022
Replying to

What - Mothra is not available?

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fuster
Dec 11, 2022

Prediction: Rodon signs with the Yankees on a six-year, $140-million contract.


https://www.thescore.com/mlb/news/2463945

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jjw49
Dec 11, 2022

Rodon would be an excellent addition at no more than 5years but his agent is Scott Boras so .... beware. Trade market with Brewers or Marlins might make more sense for Yankees long term.

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Mike Whiteman
Dec 11, 2022

Unless there is a trade in the pipeline, Rodon presents the best immediate opportunity at upgrading the team over the 2022 version. I'm all in unless they are competing with a silly offer from someone, like eight/nine years.

Like

Andy Singer
Andy Singer
Dec 11, 2022

Love Rodon (have for years), and I agree with much of what you wrote, Paul, but I would caution that it isn't smart to anticipate more than 175 innings from Rodon in any given season. There are some real "city miles" on his shoulder and elbow after the way he was abused at NC State, and limiting his regular season innings below 190 makes a lot of sense if the goal is to win October, not September.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Dec 11, 2022
Replying to

Ok, we're in the same ballpark. I predicted 178. :)

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