Rodon, 30, has had two excellent seasons in a row and has flourished ever since he rediscovered and optimized his fastball in 2021.
This past season, he had a 2.88 ERA with a much better 2.25 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) in 178 frames, striking out 237 hitters.
It’s not that the signing was unnecessary, because when a pitcher like Rodon becomes available, you do your best to bring him in; but it was mildly surprising considering most of the Yankees need at this point are in the lineup.
Still, Rodon helps them set up one of the most dominant rotations in the game.
In fact, it is a stark contrast of the unit they fielded to start the 2021 campaign.
A Yankees insider helped us illustrate how the team is trying to gain an edge with a super-rotation, and it might not be such a bad strategy.
A Winning Rotation
He compared the current group to the one starting the 2021 campaign.
“#Yankees starting rotation to begin the 2021 season: Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Jordan Montgomery, Jameson Taillon, Domingo Germán. Two years later… Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodón, Nestor Cortes, Luis Severino, Frankie Montas,” SI.com’s Max Goodman tweeted.
#Yankees starting rotation to begin the 2021 season:
Two years later…
— Max Goodman (@MaxTGoodman) December 16, 2022
At the time, Kluber was a huge injury risk/question mark, and so was Taillon.
German is, and has always been, inconsistent.
This time, the Yankees will enter 2023 with two ace-types in Cole and Rodon, a guy who has been an ace in the past (Severino), a pitcher who posted a 2.44 ERA last year in Cortes, and a huge bounce-back candidate in Montas.
That’s a fantastic rotation right there.
Now, left field, third base, and shortstop are another story.