Yankees confidently await Carlos Rodon to bounce back in 2024

Yankees starter Carlos Rodon is pitching at Yankee Stadium in the 2022 season.

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Despite a forgettable 2023 debut in pinstripes, Carlos Rodon occupies the second most important berth in the Yankees rotation. Manager Aaron Boone has high expectations from the pitcher and hopes that his true colors will shine through in 2024.

“I think he’s off to a really good start the first half of the winter here,” Boone said. “Making sure that his workout regimen, his throwing program and his buildup are all air-tight and making sure he’s in the best position so when he gets into spring training, he’s coming in with a great foundation.”

It’s worth remembering that the Yankees had invested a six-year, $162 million contract in Carlos Rodon approximately a year ago. Regrettably, his first season in pinstripes was marred by injuries and underwhelming performances. A left forearm strain disrupted his spring training, a back issue postponed his debut until July, and a hamstring strain later in the month limited him to only 14 starts. Unfortunately, those starts failed to live up to expectations.

Carlos Rodon’s winter build-up

Yankees' Carlos Rodon starts vs. the Nationals on August 22, 2023, in New York.

After a challenging debut season with the Yankees, Carlos Rodon sought a brief escape from the world of baseball. His family’s proximity to Kansas City, where the Yankees’ season concluded, provided a convenient opportunity for respite. Carlos Rodon and his wife indulged in their usual hunting activities in the area. Still, he also valued some moments of solitude before heading back to Indiana to commence his offseason training.

The Yankees appear content with Carlos Rodon’s dedication after his brief getaway. Aaron Boone mentioned encountering the pitcher before the Winter Meetings in early December and remarked that he “looked great.”

Boone believes that Carlos Rodon has commenced the winter season positively. The Yankees manager highlighted the player’s focus on ensuring a meticulous workout routine, a well-structured throwing program, and a comprehensive preparation regimen. The aim is to guarantee the pitcher enters spring training with a solid foundation, emphasizing the importance of starting from a strong position.

After two impressive All-Star seasons with the White Sox and Giants, Carlos Rodon’s inaugural year with the Yankees stood in stark contrast. A disheartening 6.85 ERA created a somber narrative, compounded by emotional incidents such as blowing a kiss to heckling fans and turning his back on pitching coach Matt Blake in his last appearance. The Kansas City game, where he conceded eight earned runs without recording an out, became a symbolic nadir.

“Obviously, last year did not go the way he wanted or any of us wanted it to,” Boone said. “Again, you never want that to happen. But at the same time, it can also be one of those sobering reminders of how difficult and challenging this game can be and how important, obviously, health is. But hopefully it’s one of those things that just refocuses you that much more to make sure you’re in a great position.”

While tensions unfolded in Kansas City – Carlos Rodon later apologized for his actions – Blake expressed contentment with the pitcher’s progress during the offseason. He attributed last year’s communication gaps to the whirlwind of free agency negotiations that limited their opportunity to synchronize. This year, with ample time before spring training, the dynamics have changed.


Blake conveyed that this year, there has been notable progress in terms of their routine, understanding what is required from their end, and setting expectations. They mentioned an increase in communication and mutual awareness of their respective positions as they enter this phase of the offseason.

The decline in Carlos Rodon’s velocity during his final two starts didn’t concern Blake, who, along with Rodón, emphasized the pitcher’s healthy condition at the end of the season.

At the GM Meetings in November, Brian Cashman acknowledged the frustration regarding the past season. Cashman attributed part of the disappointment to the player’s initial setback with a forearm injury at the start of the season. He stated that upon further analysis, they believe Carlos Rodon never fully recovered to the level they hoped for. Cashman mentioned the importance of the pitcher leaving the team in a healthy condition during the winter and returning in better shape, understanding the challenges of playing in New York, albeit clarifying that these challenges were not the direct cause of the issues. He expressed anticipation for Carlos Rodon and others to return closer to the team’s expectations for the upcoming season.

Carlos Rodon aims to fulfill Yankees’ hopes


As the final act unfolded on a disappointing season, Carlos Rodon acknowledged the imperative for adjustments. Fine-tuning his mechanics on the mound emerged as a paramount focus for the offseason and the imminent spring training. The stakes are high for Carlos Rodon, as Yankees fans expect more than offseason dedication—they demand tangible on-field results. After all, the substantial $27 million average annual salary bestowed upon him comes with the anticipation of forming a dynamic duo alongside Gerrit Cole, who solidified his ace status by claiming his first Cy Young Award in 2023.

While Cole soared to new heights, Carlos Rodon’s performance left the Yankees yearning for brighter days. Entrusted with a pivotal role, the upcoming months will serve as a critical proving ground for him. Carlos Rodon’s offseason and spring training will undergo close scrutiny, with whispers of improvement echoing through the Bronx.

Blake didn’t perceive any obstacles preventing Carlos Rodón from achieving his dominant form as a pitcher. He referred to his impressive statistics, citing a record of 27-13 with a 2.67 ERA and 422 strikeouts across 310.2 innings between 2021 and 2022 as a benchmark for the starter’s capabilities.

Boone mentioned that Carlos Rodon possesses substantial talent, emphasizing that his abilities remain intact. Boone stressed the importance of ensuring that the pitcher is positioned optimally to extract and showcase that talent. He emphasized the collective effort to assist Carlos in achieving this goal.

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