While the bright lights and big city life of New York will eventually suit Carlos Rodon just fine, his first day wearing a pinstripe uniform was probably pretty uncomfortable. The Atlanta Braves shelled the normally sterling starter in his spring training debut.
For a veteran like Rodon, spring training is usually a time to get back into form, work on new strategies, and adjust to any new rules. For those coming off an injury, it’s a chance to prove they are healthy again and still have value.
Rodon already had plenty of value. By the boatload, in fact. The 30-year-old was considered a premier free agent, inking a six-year, $162 million contract with the Bronx Bombers in December. In his career, he’s 56-46 with a 3.60 Earned Run Average in eight seasons with the White Sox and Giants. He’s also got 947 career strikeouts and tossed a no-hitter against Cleveland in 2021.
When he was signed, he was hailed by many media members in The Big Apple as the rotation’s southpaw savior. Unfortunately, despite the contract and the fanfare, Carlos Rodon got rocked on a day when he should have had a rather easy task
Rodon surrendered five runs on six hits, including two home runs, and a walk while striking out two across two-plus innings of work.
“Thank God it’s spring training,” Rodon said after his dreadful performance.
In spite of their ace’s implosion, the Yankees eventually came back to beat the Braves 10-6. And while New York manager Aaron Boone was happy with the victory, he says his star pitcher to do too much battling. He was, after all, just going through a tune-up
“The thing I don’t want him to do is to start reaching because he’s supposed to throw 96, 97, 98 (mph),” Boone said, adding that the Yanks clocked him at 91-95 mph. “This is in line with where he is every spring.”
“So I don’t want him to feel like he’s got to impress us on March 5th and overdo it. And get in a bad spot mechanically or start to do something.”
The Yankees start the season on April 1 at home against Rodon’s former team, the San Francisco Giants.
The club finished 2022 with a 99-63 record, first in the American League East.