Rodon spent last season with the Giants and posted a 2.88 ERA in 31 starts. The big southpaw had an MLB-best 2.25 FIP and also led all pitchers with 12 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9).
The Yankees’ rotation is now set for 2023. Rodon joins a New York staff that topped the American League with a 3.30 staff ERA. He’ll slot right into a rotation that already features ace Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Frankie Montas, and fellow lefty Nestor Cortes.
Even better is Rodon’s success at Yankee Stadium. He owns a 2.16 ERA at Yankee Stadium and a 3.69 mark against the four other AL East teams. Rodon has also pitched well against the rival Astros, who lost a lot of their teeth when Justin Verlander signed with the Mets.
As for the rest of the Yankees’ pitching depth, general manager Brian Cashman now has lots of decisions. Clarke Schmidt seemed the heir apparent to a starting job but is now a permanent bullpen arm. He can serve various roles if he’s stretched out, from long relief to setup work.
In turn, this makes someone like Domingo German expendable, and maybe former top prospect Deivi Garcia too.
But in the meantime, the Yankees can look forward to another strong year from their pitching staff. Rodon doesn’t just win and limit scoring, but he strikes people out with his blazing fastball and low-dropping curveball. Between himself, Cole, and Severino, the Yankees could very well have three aces in their rotation.
He’ll lose his intimidation factor after shaving his beard (Shame on you, Hal Steinbrenner), but that’s meaningless. Rodon is a Yankee. Aaron Judge re-signed. So did Anthony Rizzo. Most importantly, the Bronx Bombers are serious again.
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