High hopes from Yankees rotation after Carlos Rodon’s arrival

Yankees rotation for 2023
John Allen
Monday December 19, 2022

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The Yankees rotation now has a chance to be one of the best in the league after Carlos Rodon’s arrival. For years, their rivals across town, the Mets boasted better statistics, which now upend in favor of the Bronx Bombers.

The Yankees rotation now has a chance to be one of the best in the league. With the addition of Carlos Rodon, who signed a six-year, $162 million contract on Thursday, the Yankees’ strength from last year could be taken to a new level in 2023, as long as everyone stays healthy.

The 30-year-old left-hander Rodon was an All-Star with both the Giants and the White Sox the last two years and had a combined ERA of 2.67. By replacing Jameson Taillon, he makes the Yankees rotation that has Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Luis Severino, and Frankie Montas one of the best in the league.

Their top two pitchers, Rodon and Cole, could be as good as the Mets’ Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, who have both won three Cy Young Awards.

“We have the tools to be one of, if not the best rotations in baseball,” catcher Kyle Higashioka said Sunday on MLB Network Radio.

“As we sit here, it’s December. You love the way it looks,” manager Aaron Boone told on Friday at Yankee Stadium. “It always comes down to going out and doing it now. But we certainly feel like we’ve got a chance to have a really special group.”

In the Yankees rotation, Rodon is likely to take the No. 2 spot behind Cole, who was an All-Star last year even though he gave up too many home runs. Rodon, on the other hand, should help ease some of the pressure on Cole, who is worth $324 million.

With Rodon’s arrival, Cortes and Severino will move to the No. 3 and No. 4 spots in the Yankees rotation. Cortes is the second lefty after Cortes. His record in the 2022 season was worthy of admiration. After a career-high 158 1/3 innings and an ERA of 2.44, he will now be asked to do it again. His arm was able to handle the heavy workload, but he had to go on the injured list in late August for a groin strain that came back in October and cut short his ALCS Game 4 start against the Astros.

The Yankees exercised the optional $15 million clause for the next season considering Severino’s potential, even though he’s been hurt a lot lately. Last year, in 102 innings, he showed off his skills and had an ERA of 3.18 giving some boost to the Yankees rotation.

That makes Frankie Montas, who the Yankees got when they couldn’t get Luis Castillo at the trade deadline last year, an above-average fifth starter in the Yankees rotation if he doesn’t get traded. Montas had a 6.35 ERA in eight starts for the Yankees before getting hurt in his shoulder and missing the rest of the season. The pitcher is set to make $7.7 million next season in his final year of arbitration and could be traded if the Yankees find a good return.

As of right now, Domingo German and Clarke Schmidt would be depth options to the Yankees rotation. German could be a candidate for the bullpen because he has no more options in the minor leagues. Schmidt still has one more option, and it might be better for him to keep stretching out at Triple-A rather than try to get a spot in the bullpen.

“That’s what spring training is for,” Boone said when questioned about the Yankees rotation. “Those things have a way of shaking themselves out. Inevitably you’re probably going to have some attrition, hopefully not a lot, at different points of the season. Hopefully, as the season unfolds and you’re hopefully more whole, guys protect one another. But we’ll see how it shakes out.”

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