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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Thankfully, Carlos Rodon Looks Like a Different Pitcher

Updated: Apr 10

By Sal Maiorana

April 10, 2024

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Sal Maiorana, a friend of the site, shares some of his thoughts on the Yankees. This is only a portion of his content. For more, you can subscribe to Sal Maiorana's free Pinstripe People Newsletter at https://salmaiorana.beehiiv.com/subscribe.

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Even before Gerrit Cole was sidelined by his sore arm, we knew Carlos Rodon was going to be a critical player for the Yankees.


After a disastrous 2023 season, his first year in pinstripes after signing a six-year, $162 million contract, Rodon was going to have to bounce back and be the pitcher the Yankees thought they were signing if they were going to make a serious run at the AL East title or at least a wild-card berth.


There were too many other question marks in the starting rotation, so Rodon needed to pitch at least closer to the way he did in 2021 with the White Sox and 2022 with the Giants when in both years he was an All-Star, received Cy Young votes, his ERA was a combined 2.67, his WHIP was 0.988, and his strikeouts per nine innings was 12.2 in 55 starts. Cole needed a wingman.


Now with Cole out until at least June, Rodon’s role has taken on even greater significance and three starts into the season, he has responded quite favorably to the added pressure. Tuesday night, he pitched six scoreless innings against the Marlins before running into trouble in the seventh, and Ian Hamilton and Clay Holmes got the game across the goal line as the Yankees won their fourth straight.


Rodon has long been primarily a fastball-slider pitcher, but this season he has been working on incorporating a changeup into his repertoire and against the Marlins he threw it 10 times among his 89 pitches. It followed a strategy the Yankees employed the night before with Nestor Cortes against the Marlins as they tried to take advantage of a Miami lineup that comes up swinging for every at bat.


“A lot of righties in the lineup that we thought that changeup would work well against, and today I had it,” Rodón said. “The profile was good and the location was good. Got some good swing and miss on it, and just hope to keep using that further on. A step in the right direction today. Just keep going. The confidence is growing, for sure.”


Both of the runs that were charged to Rodon in the seventh were unearned, so his ERA is now down to 1.72. He worked through significant traffic on the bases in his starts against the Astros and Diamondbacks which cut short both outings, but he limited them to three runs combined which showed some moxie that was clearly missing in 2023.


Tuesday he was sharp from the outset. He allowed a baserunner in four of the first six innings but never two at once. Twice a Marlin made it to third with two outs but Rodon escaped by striking out Emmanuel Rivera in the second and getting Tim Anderson on a groundout in the fourth.


“He’s in a really good space right now and he’s earned that,” Aaron Boone said. “Just three

starts but good results, and it’s a result of a talented guy being prepared and ready.”

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Here are my observations: (For more.. see Sal's newletter)


➤ The Yankees’ 10-2 start matches their best in franchise history through 12 games, a mark also accomplished in 1922, 1949 and 2003. In all three of those seasons they went to the World Series.



➤ Rodon’s night ended in the seventh, partially his fault but more his defense’s fault. He walked leadoff man Josh Bell, and then Anthony Rizzo completely whiffed on a grounder and the error put men on first and second. Tim Anderson then hit a shot to third that Berti didn’t field cleanly and while he didn’t get charged with an error, it could have been.



➤ Tonight’s 7:05 finale is on Amazon Prime, which is irritating. Marcus Stroman goes for the Yankees against Ryan Weathers of Miami. Weathers is the son of former Yankees pitcher David Weathers who had very little success in parts of three seasons in the Bronx, but in the 1996 postseason was a stud as he threw 11 innings of relief and had a 0.82 ERA.

21 Comments


sfs1944
Apr 11

The Yankees need to get a catcher who can hit. What are Trevino and Wells hitting probably .200 combined

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sfs1944
Apr 11

Volpe given a hit on ball where the Marlin 2 nd baseman with the olay Sometimes I wonder if the official scorer knows a hit from an error brutal

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Cary Greene
Cary Greene
Apr 10

I'm far more cautiously optimistic with Rodon. His 2024 StatCast data isn't super encouraging. This season, Rodon's ERA is 1.72, but his xERA is 4.42. Last season, his xERA was 5.34


He's decreased his Slider usage dramatically and he's trying a new pitch - a cutter, which is helping his 4-seamer which he likes to locate middle up in the zone .The cutter is middle in or way up in the zone, so when hitters are sitting on his fastball, the cutter is inducing much weaker contact. That's what has helped him and to me, that's the difference between 2024 Rodon and last season's abberation.


Also, the change-up isn't a new pitch for him, he's been throwing it occasionally for…



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sfs1944
Apr 10

Paul Why is Berti starting again in place of Cabrera. I must be missing something Cabrera was hitting red hot and Berti has not hit much????

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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Apr 11
Replying to

Did I actually have to put a /s after my comment?

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Apr 10

Everyone here knows about my unwavering support for Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Boone, and my strong belief that Stanton is more than capable of more seasons of being one of the most feared power hitters in baseball. SO FAR, my optimism for Stanton is being rewarded.


Going into this season, I have had that EXACT SAME optimism for Carlos Rodon. Over the years, he has pitched extremely well at Yankee Stadium as an opponent in a White Sox uniform, and was a fierce competitor at Yankee Stadium, fearless of the very mighty Yankee lineups he had to face in front of a tough New York opposing crowd. He won several games at Yankee Stadium and he was extremely tough again…


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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Apr 10
Replying to

90% of blog commenting is half mental!

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