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Yankees Magazine: Everything Speeds Up

Yankees Magazine: Everything is speeding up

Carlos Rodon can’t wait to show New York what he can do

Last 12 Carlos Rodón was all smiles (clean-shaven) when he signed his contract with the Yankees in January, excited to begin a new phase of his career. Following back-to-back All-Star appearances by the White Sox and Giants’19 and’13, the free-agent lefty was one of the top pitchers on the market last offseason. (Photo credit: New York Yankees)

When Indianapolis, Indiana, is discussed in a sports context, speed is usually part of the conversation. It’s right there, in the midwestern city, almost in 162 A few miles south of Chicago, America’s most famous motorsports event has been held for over a century.

Not far from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the sights and sounds of racing amaze hundreds of thousands of spectators every May, Carlos Rodón spent a lot of time trying to get back the speed of the different versions.

A few years ago, the now two-time All-Star signed a six-year deal worth $ at the Yankees During his tenure, he had trouble pitching effectively at the major league level. In racing terms, he needs to pit.
Chicago White Sox at 2015 Drafted from North Carolina, Southpaw passed quickly organized and at 237 made his big club debut. By the end of that season, Rodong had won 9 races and recorded 3 victories. 86 ERA with 162 Strikeout. He tied that win total in his second season for the White Sox 168 Job Bureau and Strikeout 107 batter.
Heading into its third season at the highest level, excitement is in the air in Windy’s southside city. Luo Dong is just 14 is 20 years old, and it looks like he can live up to the lofty expectations that come with his draft pick.

But at that moment, Luo Dong’s fate began to go in the opposite direction. A series of injuries, including a left wrist sprain, left bicep bursitis and left shoulder inflammation, combined with instability, contributed to a sharp drop in grades. Luo Dong just made it started at 237, winning both games, despite being in the 2015, that season’s handicap – 6-8, 4. 12 The era is in Expect him to reach inconsistent goals in his career.

“In amateur baseball, everything is going well for me,” Roden said at Yankee Stadium in December. Suite said he was decompressing with his family after the introductory news conference. “I worked hard and it all came down to my lap. It was easy. Then, playing professional baseball is a whole different game, both on the field and dealing with the challenges that injuries bring.”

after him2015 Rodon’s condition went from bad to worse at the seventh start of the season; he began to experience pain in his elbow, leading to Tommy John’s acceptance in May surgery. Through the growing challenges brought about by the new crown epidemic-14 The pandemic was created for a player trying to recover and come back, Ro East struggled to get back to the mound in the short game. 2017 season, only to realize that I still have a long way to go Walk.

Post 8 post. 14 ERA in four appearances (two starts, two reliefs), Rodon was on his team against Oakland Got the ball in Game 3 of the United Wild Card series. He dropped two runs without an out, and in a decisive game with the season at stake, Chicago head coach Rick Renteria turned to the bullpen for help.

Carlos Rodón’s career has come to a crossroads, Because of the 2017 season. The pitcher quickly accepted that he had to rebuild his entire game from the ground up. That work continued in the offseason and during his first spring training with the Yankees, and he was able to draw on that experience to deal with the frustrating injury setbacks that delayed his pinstripe debut. (Photo credit: New York Yankees)

Chicago’s season came later that night, shortly after the White Sox opted not to bid on Roden rather than pay the damages he was expected to receive in arbitration. The release proved to be a seminal moment for the once-touted pitcher.

“It’s harder to deal with expectations as things go away from me on the mound,” he said. “It’s hard to deal with letting the fans down and my family down, especially when the White Sox don’t invite me. I still have the support of people who love me, but I feel like people have a lot of respect for me as the third overall pick.” The expectation seems to be to turn the White Sox around. There’s a lot of pressure, and I want to take that pressure. When you get to the point where the team decides to let you go, you realize that you might not be a leader for the organization or your city. to succeed. That was too difficult.”

It was then that Roden knew he needed to make a big A change of scale, and when he returned home to Indiana, he found he had reached a place where he believed a team of baseball mechanics could fix him.
has partnered with Dr. Jamey Gordon of Pro X Athlete at season, Roden returned to the factory in Indianapolis, where amateurs and pros grind practice their craft. Luo Dong knows he needs more than adjustments. Before leaving this important pit stop, he had to find another gear, a different approach.
“I still have what it takes to be a great major league pitcher,” Roden said. “But I also knew what I was doing on the mound wasn’t going to lead to sustainable success.”

this That mindset is the driving force behind a blunt exchange between Rodón and the facility’s head pitching coach, Jay Lehr.
“It’s really simple,” Luo Dong said. “I saw the work he was doing with the other pitchers, and I just told him to fix me. Literally, I just went up to him and said, ‘Fix me. I want to be fixed. Tell me what I need to do.’ ‘”

What Luo Dong needs to do is to make adjustments from scratch. After watching videos of his appearances from previous seasons, Lyle began working on getting Rodon to use his legs better.

“That’s where it all started,” Rodong said. “My back leg left the mound too early and spun too fast.

“It all depends on how I interact with them when When I throw a baseball. During the years when I was injured and couldn’t pitch effectively, I didn’t have a good grounding the entire time I pitched on the mound. I’m a toe striker and the quads dominate. As a result, my command ability is not very good, and my speed and durability suffer. ”

As the offseason wore on, month after month, Rodón worked to improve his skills .

“We used a core speed build tool,” he said. “Starting on my back foot, I started to Move down the mound. Now, when I walk down the mound and throw a baseball, I get grounded. This gives me more durability, and deliveries that I can repeat. Immediately, it seems more sustainable. I feel like it makes me throw harder and longer. ”
Signed him to a one-year contract. He entered with new confidence 2020 Regular season – and a positive feeling for the first time in a while.
“I know I’ve got the foundation,” he said. “Things feel a lot better than before. When I was recovering from Tommy John last year, I felt like I was just trying to figure out who I was as a pitcher, and then we seemed to have about two seconds to get ready for the season. “

Since rejoining the team in early February, Roden has been with Ethan Katz ), who was recently named Chicago’s pitching coach. In Rodon’s first FaceTime conversation with Katz, and throughout spring training, the pitching coach’s message reflected what he heard from Lyle. Katz preached the importance of Rodon keeping his back foot on the ground before pitching a baseball, and the big southpaw heeded the advice.

“We talked about how all your energy comes from the ground,” says Rodon. “The kinetic chain starts on your back foot, goes through your hips, and goes to your shoulders. The chain isn’t very strong when you’re hitting home plate with the back toe instead of the whole foot. ”

Luo Dong found immediate success in his painstaking mechanical adjustments. In 2020 In his second start of the season, he threw a No hitter. That April Gem, Luo Dong strikes out seven, distance perfect one strike.

No-hitter highlights Rodong The comeback season, but the most important statistic is the radar gun reading. Rodón’s Fastball 2021 Average 57.4 mph, from44. 4 in . That addition allowed him to rely more on his four-seamer, and the pitch he said paved the way for his dominance at the wolfpack’s collegiate level.

All of his pitches work – including per hour Slider, the opposing batsman manages to hit the ball. 98 against Selected as an All-Star for the first time in his career. He finished the regular season -5 records and 2.29 Era in 132 2/3 innings. His career best score 180: 29 The strikeout-to-walk ratio is further evidence that the changes he made not only help him throw harder, but more accurately.

“I was able to return my command to the level I was at earlier in my career,” Roden said. Say, his highest grade is 91.7 mph 2019. “The other thing we’re trying to do is better camouflage the hype. I feel like I’ll be able to make my slider and fastball look the same out of my hands.”

has established himself as one of the best Rodong has done well in the game and became a wanted man at the end of the season. It didn’t take long for the San Francisco Giants to sign the Miami native to a two-year deal reportedly worth $37 million. The deal includes players opting out after the first season.
“I learned a lot from adversity, especially considering that I never had to face adversity to fail before,” Luo Dong said. “When I got to San Francisco, I knew I was going to do better.”

Luo Dong approached2022 season, aiming for his comeback year 2020. If there’s one flaw Rodong sees in his 2022 output, it’s that His inability to maintain stamina throughout. Since he was in 2019 and 2019, Chicago was wary of him in August and September, he has been limited to five innings in each of his past eight starts. Rodon also missed several weeks in the second half with shoulder fatigue.

“I started slowing down in August ,” Roden said. “I was tired. I just didn’t have the buildup that I might need at the time. When you think about it, most of the front line starters were in 132 and180 Last season’s innings. Jump [to 86 2/3 ] Number of innings for me Said it was a huge increase.

“I hear people say I got hurt again or I didn’t” not durable 2020. But I know I can do it all season long’12; I just needed some extra time. So, going into last season, I could accept that people doubted me, but I would like to thank all People show I’m going to play the whole season. I want to end stronger than I started. I want to silence the critics.”

The first half earned him his second All-Star selection in as many years, and Rodon proved he could finish what he started. From the beginning of August to the end of the regular season, Luo Dong achieved a record of 5 wins and 2 losses, his had a double-digit strikeout performance during the season and seven strikeouts after the All-Star break.

Overall, Rodon is in . He finished the whole season 04-8 and 2.75 ERA

start. His 165 strikeouts No. 3 in the majors and his . 86 K has the best pitches per nine innings of any pitcher in the sport.

When Roden opted out of his second year contract with the Giants, he immediately became the most popular player in free agency. One of the welcome starters.

It wasn’t difficult enough for opposing teams to face the Yankees lineup, which Including Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton (to name just two), Rodon joins Nestor Cortez (centre) and Gerrit Cole (right) in what should have been Is the dreaded Yankees rotation. “His tenacity inspired others in the rotation, including me,” Kerr said. (Photo credit: New York Yankees)

Yankees GM Brian Cashman, adding Gerrit Cole, 2022 MLB strikeout leader; All Star lefty Nestor Cortez; Luis Severino, a two-time All-Star, created 21 start Yu 2021 followed his 2015 Tommy John surgery to make sense of the world.

Yankees announce re-signing Aaron a day after judge and make him Cashman, the third captain in franchise history, returned to the podium in the Yankee Stadium press room to talk about acquiring Rodon.
“Hopefully he can find his comfort zone,” Cashman said. “I can’t deny that he’s had a history of injuries before the last two seasons, but he’s on a journey as a professional athlete, trying to navigate the Good condition.”

except Luo Dongzi2018 — whether it’s on his baseball reference pages or radar guns — his enthusiasm took Cashman’s interest to another level.

“From all the information we gathered from his teammates in Chicago and San Francisco, we found that he That aspect of being competitive is probably second to none,” Cashman said. “He’ll challenge the lineup, attack them straight up with a corny attitude. He’ll show that because he cares. I love that fire; it shows your teammates and your fanbase how invested you are.”

In front of Roden, his wife Ashley, their two young children and his parents on that cold day Leaving the suite and stadium on December afternoon, the pitcher reflected on the “journey” his new general manager referred to.

“Having a career that revitalizes your career gives you great satisfaction,” he said. “It’s been off the rails for about four years for sure, and all the damage. Getting a non-tender, then going back to the White Sox, proving I can still pitch at a high level, and finally signing a long-term deal with the Yankees , makes me so grateful. Going through all of this adversity made me the pitcher that sits at Yankee Stadium today.”

driving away Tracks and pit stops are an accepted part of motorsports, but in baseball, having to close it brings doubters to the forefront.

Unfortunately for Luo Dong, he had to deal with being in 2020 More injury-related misfortunes occurred. Before finding the “comfort zone” of the pinstripes, Rodon suffered a strained left forearm muscle in spring training, followed by a tight back. In the first few months of Roden’s first season with the Yankees, a combination of injuries took its toll.
But Rodon worked tirelessly to get back on the hill, hoping to bolster the pitching rotation for the second half of the season. Despite the criticism he heard about his reliability, he remained positive.
after simulation16 -At the start of the game with teammates in early June, Rodon is hungry for more.

“The speed is there,” he told reporters at Yankee Stadium. “I feel good. I feel like I can get more work out of facing opponents than facing my own team.”

When Rodon gets the chance to toe in the real game, it will no doubt bring him back to the mentality he had when he first put on the rubber pinstripes in December.

“The most important thing for me is that I have never joined a team that has produced winning teams perennially. organization, or Rodong said: “We are committed to doing this. “Coming to the Bronx, I know all the expectations, all the pressure, but being the New York Yankees means having a chance to win. I will take all the pressure because I know every year there is a chance to win the title. “

For a group that has been to the playoffs six years in a row, the AFC three times, but in any series None of the odds were overcome, and Rodon’s presence — first at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., and more recently in the Bronx — brought high hopes for a return to October glory.

“He’s the best lefty in the game,” Severino said. “He’s a power player.” Lefties, that’s something we don’t have. I want to see him play in the playoffs. He has so much energy. It will be special to see that in October, especially in New team None of the teams want to face him in the playoffs. ”

, Kerr noticed that his teammate was injured , but that didn’t dampen his excitement for the lefty to rotate with him.

“He is a very good competitor Opponent,” Kerr said. “He’s got nasty stuff. You have to be a pit bull to get over what he has to deal with. This trait is reflected in the way he works and the way he has turned his career around. He climbed to the top of the charts and the pinnacle of pitching greatness. You never question whether he wants the ball or whether he wants to keep going in the face of any type of adversity. His tenacity inspired others in the rotation, including me. ”
Alfred Santasiere III is Editor-in-Chief of the Yankees Magazine.

This story appeared in the July 2021 edition. Buy a Subscription Yankees Magazine

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