Carlos Rodon is the newest Yankee. And the big lefty has a fan in former Bronx Bombers ace CC Sabathia.
Appearing on his R2C2 podcast, Sabathia gave Rodon his full-throated endorsement and said he expects big things from him in the Bronx.
“He’s got a lot of f–k you in him,” Sabathia said. “You have to have that. You have to be able to block everything out and come with everything you have, especially pitching here in the Bronx. And I just felt like he has the perfect attitude to play here and pitch here. He’ll give you everything he has when he goes out there on his day.”
Sabathia is absolutely correct, and Rodon hasn’t even pitched in a game as a Yankee yet. A deep dive on the numbers shows Rodon won’t just be a strong Yankee, but was born to be one.
Let’s start with Yankee Stadium. The Bronx is an intense place to pitch and Yankees fans have high standards. Anything less than a full effort and then some is met with deafening boos. Rodon won’t be fazed by that. He’s posted a 2.16 ERA in four Yankee Stadium starts. Now, it’s his home base.
Rodon’s embrace of pressure will also help him playing in the hard-hitting AL East. Divisional play won’t be much of a factor this year, but the East is still competitive enough where games against Boston, Tampa Bay, and especially Toronto still matter next season.
That’s just fine by Rodon. He owns a 3.69 ERA against New York’s four division rivals. That’s not at all bad considering how much offense flows through the AL East. Rodon is also more of a strikeout pitcher now than he was early in his career. That alone helps the Yankees’ chances in these crucial games.
Most important of all, Rodon isn’t fazed by the mighty Houston Astros. It doesn’t matter that they lost Justin Verlander to the Mets. The defending champions are still the best team in the AL West and the road to the World Series runs through Minute Maid Park.
Cut to Rodon with his Andy Pettitte-like stare on the mound, and his 1.55 career ERA against Houston. Best of all, he has a 1.86 mark at Minute Maid Park. Tuning out the fans in the Bronx is hard enough. Doing the same in Houston with the roof closed sounds almost impossible. Not for Rodon. Next season is looking more exciting by the minute.