The Yankees’ 2023 season hasn’t at all gone according to plan. And while being 70-70 on September 8th isn’t ideal, it’s a lot better than how things looked just a couple of weeks ago. New York’s rotation has been one of the most disappointing parts of the roster. Luis Severino and Carlos Rodon have contributed to that.
Now with just a handful of starts left for each, they’re duking it out to possibly set the kind of franchise record nobody wants: the highest single-season ERA by a starting pitcher.
After Rodon was brutally honest about yet another lackluster start, I found this in the replies:
Worst ERA in a season among #Yankees (min. 10 starts):
Shawn Chacon 7.00 (2006)
David Cone 6.91 (2000)
Ramiro Mendoza 6.79 (1996)
Luis Severino 6.75 (2023)
Carlos Rodon 6.60 (2023)
— Marc Weber (@MarcWeberSports) September 8, 2023
I cross-referenced it on FanGraphs just to be sure, and it unfortunately checks out. It’s also worth noting the number of appearances/starts each of these hurlers accumulated during their respective seasons:
- Chacon: 17 appearances/11 starts
- Cone: 30 appearances/29 starts
- Mendoza: 12 appearances/11 starts
- Severino: 18 appearances/17 starts
- Rodon: 10 appearances/ 10 starts
Sevy struggling for nearly twice as many starts as Rodon makes it a little more significant. However, it’s also worth noting that these two current Yankee hurlers are at very different stages in their careers.
Luis Severino is about to hit the open market as a free agent. His season-long performance has all but cemented the fact that he’ll get a short-term “prove it” deal to try and rebuild his value in 2024. As for Rodon, though, this is the first season of a six-year, $162 million deal that he signed with New York last winter.
Is Rodon a bust? I don’t think that’s a fair thing to say just yet. This year has been far from ideal for him, both with on-field performance and also dealing with injuries. Don’t forget that he didn’t have a typical build-up to his Yankee debut in July because of a prolonged stay on the injured list.
Hopefully, he can have a normal offseason and spring training in advance of Opening Day next year. If the struggles continue without any injuries, then I think it’s fair to start talking about that.
Before we get to 2024, though, Sevy and Rodon need to finish this year. And even if their respective finishes aren’t strong, they just need to be slightly better than they’ve been previously.