BRONX, NY — Ever since the news broke on Carlos Rodón signing a massive six-year/$162 million contract with the New York Yankees this offseason, fans in pinstripes envisioned a dynamic left-hander with a bulldog-like presence, giving it his all on the bump at Yankee Stadium.
And this coming Friday, July 7th, all those thoughts become reality…
The 30-year-old Cuban-American, Rodón, born in Miami, Florida, will be making his Yankees debut tomorrow night at the Stadium as the Chicago Cubs visit the Bronx for a three-game weekend series.
So, to rewind on how we got here — during Spring Training this past March, Rodón suffered a left-forearm strain and throughout the recovery process, had an additional flare up in his back, which delayed his progress and timeline on a return.
Now, over three months later, he is all set to go, ramping up his workload and pitch count in minor league play by completing three rehab starts — two outings with the Somerset Patriots (AA) and one with the Hudson Valley Renegades (High A). Across those three starts, Rodón recorded a 0.84 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 10.2 innings — his pitch count increments went from 42 to 48 to 58.
“I have a feeling when I step in a big league stadium, it will be plus two or three on the velocity,” Rodón said leading up to Friday. “I’m gonna have to contain myself.”
“I feel ready.”
“Excited to think about getting him back and know that that’s right on the horizon,” manager Aaron Boone said recently of Rodón. “He’s one of those guys we feel like is a difference-maker.”
A difference-maker indeed — Rodón carries himself with a bulldog-like mentality on the mound, striking at the opposition in every situation possible with pure grit and determination. Yankee fans will begin to feel that genuine energy as the season goes on with their newest left-hander on the bump.
Oh, and about that 1-2 punch between Gerrit Cole and Rodón? The Yankees ace is 8-2 in 18 starts this season with a 2.79 ERA and 118 strikeouts.
As for Rodón, the 2021 AL LatinoMVP Starting Pitcher award winner; he finished off his 2022 campaign with the San Francisco Giants — posting a 14-8 record in 31 starts with a 2.88 ERA and 237 strikeouts.
Pitching Dominance? Rodón is set to join a Yankees pitching staff that currently ranks fourth in ERA across MLB (3.70), fifth in WHIP (1.23) and third in opponent batting-average (.232).
Also, Rodón’s contract is the sixth-largest in Yankees franchise history and second behind Cole for a pitcher in pinstripes.
Largest Contracts in Yankees Franchise History
Aaron Judge: nine years/$360 million
Gerrit Cole: nine years/$324 million
Alex Rodríguez: 10 years/$275 million – AL LatinoMVP award winner (2003 & 2008)
Derek Jeter: 10 years/$189 million
Mark Teixeira: eight years/$180 million
Carlos Rodón: six years/$162 million – AL LatinoMVP Starting Pitcher award winner (2021)
Quite the class to be included in, yet Rodón’s reign in the Bronx is just beginning…
“Ready to pitch wherever they need me, so here we go.”
Robert Rizzo is a journalist and co-editor of Latino Sports – Email: RobertRiz994@gmail.com
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