Yankees Carlos Rodon problem isn't getting any less concerning in spring training

Carlos Rodon's Yankees tenure got off to a rough start in 2023. Unfortunately, things don't appear to be looking up for the left-hander.

New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals
New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals / Ed Zurga/GettyImages

The New York Yankees made a large investment in left-hander Carlos Rodon back in December of 2022. After a strong year with the San Francisco Giants, New York gave him a six-year, $162 million contract.

Things got off to a rocky start in 2023. After being sidelined with arm, hamstring and back troubles, he only made 14 starts for the Bronx Bombers and went 3-8, posting an alarming 6.85 ERA after being in the mix for the National League Cy Young the previous year.

Fast forward to 2024, and things still aren't looking promising for the left-hander. He allowed a leadoff home run on the first pitch of the game to Tampa Bay Rays star Yandy Diaz on Wednesday. Ben Verlander provided the video of the moment.

Rodon still slumping as 2024 looms

This is concerning for Rodon and the Yankees.

Verlander also notes that prior to today's start, Rodon threw a live batting practice and allowed four home runs.

It's an unsettling trend that's starting to develop for the left-hander. So far, the contract the Yankees gave him is looking like a major bust.

Rodon dealt with multiple injuries last year, and those could still be lingering as the start of the season draws closer. Yankees fans certainly are concerned about what has been happening, with one even calling for Brian Cashman's head thanks to the large contract Rodon signed.

While it's only spring training, the Yankees were hoping for a bounce-back campaign from Rodon. His early work this spring certainly doesn't inspire much confidence.

If Rodon truly is hurt, the Yankees might want to dive back into the free-agent market, where Blake Snell and former Yankee Jordan Montgomery are waiting to be signed.

Beyond Gerrit Cole, the rest of the Yankees rotation is very up in the air with Nestor Cortes having been plagued by injuries last season. One of the two remaining starters in free agency would shore up a rotation with several question marks, with Rodon being one of the biggest ones.

Time will tell if the left-hander can turn things around, but this certainly isn't a good sign for the Yankees. He made it through three innings today but allowed two more solo home runs and left trailing 3-0.

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