Yankees’ Carlos Rodon admits Bronx not ‘overwhelming’ anymore, wins back fans

Carlos Rodon during game between the new york yankees vs. chicago white sox, on may 19, 2024
Esteban Quiñones
Monday May 20, 2024

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Carlos Rodón’s journey with the New York Yankees has been nothing short of a rollercoaster. After two stellar seasons with the Chicago White Sox and San Francisco Giants in 2021 and 2022, Rodon’s transition to the Bronx was expected to fortify the Yankees’ rotation. However, his 2023 season told a different story. Struggling under the intense New York spotlight, Rodón’s performance plummeted, leading to skepticism about his ability to handle the pressure that comes with wearing the iconic pinstripes.

In 2023, Rodón’s stats were disappointing: 14 starts, 3 wins, 8 losses, and an ERA of 6.85. The whispers grew louder—could Carlos Rodón thrive in the high-pressure environment of New York? Critics were quick to write him off. Yet, as the calendar turned to 2024, Rodón has embarked on a redemption arc that has fans and analysts alike taking notice.

Carlos Rodon has finally embraced the Yankees fanbase, and it seems like they have too…

Carlos Rodón’s 2024 season has been a stark contrast to his struggles the previous year. With 10 starts under his belt, he has racked up 5 wins, 2 losses, and a significantly improved ERA of 3.27, alongside 50 strikeouts. His recent performance against the Chicago White Sox exemplified his turnaround. Despite a shaky start, Rodón pitched six solid innings, conceding four hits and allowing two earned runs, contributing to the Yankees’ seventh consecutive victory.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon is in action against the Minnesota Twins, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Minneapolis.
NYY

After the game, Rodón expressed his newfound comfort: “I sit down in the dugout now and look around, I feel pretty comfortable sitting in this stadium. … I’m like, this doesn’t feel overwhelming anymore. This feels like home, which is nice. That makes a huge difference.”

The Yankees’ rotation this season has been exceptional. Carlos Rodón, despite his solid numbers, is still competing for the weakest spot in the rotation. Here’s a look at their last time through the rotation, before Rodón’s start against Chicago White Sox:

  • Rodón: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
  • Stroman: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
  • Schmidt: 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K
  • Cortes: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
  • Gil: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 14 K

In his recent outing, Rodón showcased his signature fastball, clocking three pitches above 97 mph in a crucial moment against the White Sox. With his pitch count nearing triple digits, Rodón found another gear, striking out Korey Lee to end the sixth inning. “I wanted that last one,” he said post-game. “I checked the dugout and gave them a little sign like, ‘Hey, I got this. This one is mine.’”

Is Carlos Rodon’s story in New York one of redemption?

Carlos Rodón’s transformation hasn’t gone unnoticed by Yankees fans. Their reactions to his recent performances have been overwhelmingly positive, reflecting their admiration for his perseverance. Comments like “My king,” “Love this for him!” and “That’s how you overcome adversity” flooded social media. One fan poignantly stated, “He’s finally ONE OF US!” capturing the collective sentiment of acceptance and support.

This turnaround is a testament to Rodón’s offseason dedication. After a disastrous 2023, Rodón committed to intense strength and conditioning and made crucial pitching adjustments. In addition to that, he got rid of his mustache, which the fanbase can boldly call unlucky now. Yankees manager Aaron Boone acknowledged this effort, stating, “The message was just you’ve been a great pitcher in this league, you’ve got the ability to be an outstanding pitcher, you’ve laid the foundation this winter and this spring, keep checking those boxes, keep chopping wood every day. He’s done that and the result has been a nice consistent body of work here to start the season because he’s just been in a good place from a frame of mind and work ethic and it’s been exciting to see him respond to an adverse season here.”

Rodón’s stats in 2024 speak volumes. He’s allowed three runs or fewer in nine of his ten starts and has particularly excelled at Yankee Stadium, boasting a 3-0 record and a 2.13 ERA. His use of secondary pitches, including an effective changeup and cutter, alongside his revitalized fastball, has been pivotal.

In essence, Carlos Rodón’s 2024 season has been a story of redemption. He’s not only conquered the overwhelming pressures of New York but has also earned a place in the hearts of Yankees fans. That being said, there’s still a long way to go for both, the Yanks, and Rodon. What do you think? Leave your comment below!

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