July 21, 2024

The New York Yankees are going through a hard patch, having lost six of their past seven series, including a crushing defeat by the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday. With the All-Star break less than three weeks away, it’s evident that both their pitching and offense have been subpar.

Collapse of the Yankees’ Starting Rotation

The most pressing concern, however, is the Yankees’ starting rotation, which is coming apart due to poor performance rather than injuries. Carlos Rodon, their $162 million pitching acquisition in 2023, has suffered a catastrophic collapse this season. Rodon’s performance has deteriorated dramatically since beginning with an ERA of about 3.00 in early June.

Carlos Rodon’s Alarming Deterioration

Rodon now has a 4.42 ERA, 4.54 FIP, and 8.84 strikeouts per nine. His 75.5% left-on-base rate and 35% ground ball rate are alarming, as is his allowing 1.54 home runs per nine, his second-highest number since 2017. Rodon’s ERA has suffered the most in his last three outings, when he has given up 20 earned runs, five of which have been home runs, in 13.2 innings.

In other words, Rodon has recently been one of baseball’s worst starting pitchers, and his troubles are not due to an injury. He has clearly lost confidence and was agitated in the dugout following disappointing performances. His stats have plunged to alarming levels, with a 25th percentile xERA of 4.65 and rankings in the 11th percentile for barrel rate and the 16th percentile for hard hit rate.

Analyzing Rodon’s Pitching Woes

Carlos Rodon propels Yankees to franchise-matching best start

 

Opposing batters are not just making contact, but also slugging off him. His four-seam fastball, which he throws 50.7% of the time, produces a.290 anticipated batting average and a.608 expected slugging percentage. Despite keeping a reasonable velocity, his fastball has become problematic, probably due to increased horizontal movement, which allows it to wander back into the strike zone.

Broader Pitching Issues Beyond Rodon

Rodon isn’t the only ailing pitcher; Gerrit Cole is still recovering from an elbow nerve injury, Nestor Cortes has been erratic and is regressing, and Luis Gil, although having a 3.15 ERA, has just increased from around 2.00 for the better part of two months.

Looking Ahead: Yankees’ Trade Deadline and Recovery Hopes

It was just a matter of time before the Yankees’ rotation deteriorated dramatically, but no one anticipated it to happen all at once. The club hopes to overcome this rocky spell and begin to accumulate wins as the All-Star break approaches. General manager Brian Cashman will need to be proactive before the trade deadline, but more importantly, his existing players must step up and recapture their form.

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