Carlos Rodon closing on to settle down with Yankees’ hoped-for potential

Yankees starter Carlos Rodon converses with Aaron Boone at the mound on Aug 27, 2023, at Tropicana Field.

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Starting pitcher Carlos Rodon showcased a glimpse of what the Yankees aspired to to see him pitching when he was signed in the offseason. He retired 11 consecutive batters during a period that Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone regarded as possibly his most impressive four-inning stretch with the team at Tropicana Field.

However, this spell of Carlos Rodon was followed by two more runs on four hits in the opening inning of a 7-4 defeat against the Rays.

Carlos Rodon inching toward his best for the Yankees

There were positive indicators for the second consecutive outing from Carlos Rodon, who was on a restricted pitch count due to a hamstring injury that led to another stint on the injured list. However, the Yankees have yet to witness the anticipated version of Carlos Rodon they acquired when he signed a lucrative six-year, $162 million contract during the offseason.

Carlos Rodon remarked that he managed to calm down and find his rhythm from the latter part of the first inning until the fifth.

“I kind of settled down and settled in,’’ he told.

Exhibiting a fastball that reached a velocity of 98 mph, he managed to record a season-best seven strikeouts.

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Twitter-@TalkinYanks

These statistics were certainly far from what the Yankees had seen him doing when they prioritized him during the offseason, especially alongside their efforts to retain Aaron Judge. Yet, it was an improvement compared to his previous performances.

Carlos Rodon’s day began with another shaky beginning, as he was adversely affected by some lackluster defense that was characteristic of a team in last place. The inning started with a single to left by Randy Arozarena, followed by a pop-out to second from Harold Ramirez. Subsequently, the situation quickly fell apart for both the Yankees and Carlos Rodon.

During an 0-1 pitch to Brandon Lowe, Arozarena initiated a steal toward second base. However, Kyle Higashioka‘s throw sailed beyond its target and landed in center field, resulting in an error. Arozarena capitalized on the confusion, advancing to third base. In an attempt to stop him, Harrison Bader’s throw to third went awry, bouncing past Oswald Peraza and slipping past Carlos Rodon, who was providing support on the play.

This mishap allowed Arozarena to cross home plate, giving the Rays a 1-0 lead. Right after, on Carlos Rodon’s next pitch, Lowe hammered a solo home run that soared into the stingray tank beyond the right-center fence.

With the Yankees trailing 2-0, Carlos Rodon encountered further challenges as he conceded a single to Isaac Paredes and then accidentally hit Osleivis Basabe with a pitch. This unfortunate sequence led to a bases-loaded situation after Luke Raley’s single.

Yet, Carlos Rodon managed to rebound by getting Jose Siri and Christian Bethancourt out, thereby escaping the inning without further damage. He then held off any more offensive advances until the fifth inning, when he issued a leadoff walk to Jonathan Aranda.

Rodon is positive about his progress

According to Carlos Rodon, he perceived no significant alteration in the quality of his pitches from the initial inning to the subsequent stages of the game. He capitalized on successfully leaving the bases loaded in the first inning, but the starter expressed dissatisfaction regarding his two walks in the fifth inning. Both walks were conceded to left-handed batters, causing him to exit the game with two outs and having thrown 84 pitches.

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Twitter-@772_Bets

Nonetheless, Aaron Boone saw a positive development in Carlos Rodon’s performance that differed from his previous seven starts, marking a promising shift in what has been an overall disappointing debut season as a Yankee. However, it was his second improved outing in pinstripes.

Boone commented that during those innings, Carlos Rodon displayed the most favorable rhythm he has exhibited throughout the year. He expressed hope that this newfound rhythm would serve as a foundation for his future performances.

Following a promising performance against Washington, where he limited the Nationals to a single run across six innings, Carlos Rodon’s ERA has improved to 5.97 from the 7.33 mark it stood at just two starts ago.

Given the limited stakes left in the season, the prospect of Carlos Rodon finding a sense of stability and comfort within the Yankees’ setup carries some significance.

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