Blue Jays facing heat: Carlos Rodon shows off improved arsenal in spring training

Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon

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Carlos Rodon delivered a remarkable performance in the recent game against the Toronto Blue Jays, showcasing a level of comfort and skill notably absent in the previous year. His game statistics included pitching 2.2 innings, allowing only one hit, striking out five batters, issuing two walks, and conceding just one earned run and a home run on a total of 48 pitches.

Insights from Matt Blake

Amidst this solid performance, Matt Blake, the pitching coach of the New York Yankees, shared insights into Rodon’s return to the team. According to Blake, Rodon’s improvement is evident in his enhanced movement and physical condition. Rodon’s early arrival in January allowed him to work extensively with the coaching staff throughout the month, especially with Sam Green and Desi Druschel. Blake highlighted the positive impact of these sessions, noting that Rodon’s body seems to be in an optimal state, and his delivery appears more refined.

“He’s (Carlos Rodon) working with our guys, Sam Green, Desi Druschel, for all of January. It feels like his body’s in a good spot. The delivery looks like it’s in a good spot. I think he spent a lot of time getting his body in shape ahead of schedule, maybe push the throwing program a little bit up this year just to make sure we were in a good spot delivery-wise. Just accessing a little bit better range of motion in his lower half, and it seems like it’s ended up giving us a better  direction of delivery.”

Blake emphasized Carlos Rodon‘s proactive approach to getting in shape ahead of schedule, potentially adjusting the pitching program to ensure a well-prepared delivery. The pitching coach highlighted the focus on achieving better lower-body range of motion in Rodon, leading to a more precise and effective delivery. This emphasis on physical conditioning seems to have paid off, providing a solid foundation for Rodon’s performance improvement.

The pitching coach elaborated on Rodon’s dedicated efforts to address specific issues from the previous year, such as a slight opening in his delivery. Blake mentioned that with better direction behind the ball, Rodon’s fastball now exhibits more life. The increased intensity in Rodon’s delivery was noticeable, with Blake expressing satisfaction that the level of intensity has risen compared to the previous year.

Overcoming Challenges in the 2024 Preseason Game

Carlos Rodon, player of the New York Yankees
Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

In the televised preseason game against the Toronto Blue Jays in 2024, Carlos Rodon initially drew attention as the team’s main injury concern. However, by the end of the first inning, Juan Soto took the spotlight with a injury scare – fortunately, not confirmed – shifting the narrative. Despite Rodon’s struggles with maximum velocity and control in 2024, his performance on Sunday exceeded expectations.

Carlos Rodon’s velocity during the game started at 92-93 MPH and gradually increased to 95 MPH by the end of a clean inning. This promising display suggests that Rodon is on the right track in terms of physical preparation and performance improvement.

As the 2024 season unfolds, Carlos Rodon’s return to the New York Yankees appears to be a positive story, demonstrating dedication, hard work, and promising results on the mound. Early signs indicate that Rodon’s efforts during the offseason and collaboration with the coaching staff are translating into tangible improvements, setting an optimistic tone for the upcoming season.

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