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The big news in baseball Thursday night was that the Yankees added left-hander Carlos Rodon to their rotation. on a six-year, $162 million deal. After keeping Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo, the next major box to check for Brian Cashman’s front office this offseason was adding a big arm to the rotation, and he did.

The Yankees now have a 5-man rotation with a very high turnover rate, but there are questions throughout. Let’s dive in!

The top. We’ve all seen it. Cole is arguably the best pitcher in baseball to not (yet) win a Cy Young. He finished second in the vote twice and has four top five finishes. He led the majors in strikeouts twice and led the AL with a 2.50 ERA in 2019. Any day he takes the ball, he is capable of leading his team in a dominant position. That’s ace, easily.

The question: For being a dominant pitcher, why does he give up so many home runs? He led the AL with 33 homers allowed last season. He has allowed a home run in all three of his playoff starts and, in fact, has given up at least one home run in his last nine playoff starts in 2019. His long ball problem was the main culprit behind him being inconsistent last season. , rising to a 3.50 ERA overall (111 ERA+, his worst since leaving Pittsburgh by a wide margin).

Carlos Rodon

The top. Over the past two seasons, Rodon has made 55 starts and is 27-13 with a 2.67 ERA (157 ERA+), 0.998 WHIP and 422 strikeouts against 87 unearned walks in 310 2/3 innings. Rate-wise, he was one of the best, most dominant pitchers in baseball. He’s a left-handed ace to line up alongside the righty Cole.

Oh, and here’s a cool stat. Cole was No. 1 in fastball 4-rate (minimum 1,000 pitches) and Rodon was No. 2 in all of baseball last season. The Yankees have the heat.

The question: Rodon dealt with shoulder injuries in 2016 and 2021 and had Tommy John surgery in between. This means he started 12, 20, 7 and 2 games, respectively, in 2017-20. 2021 looked like he would have a career year, but after August 7th he pitched just 23 innings in five starts. As mentioned, the shoulder injury was a concern. Even with 31 starts last season, he averaged just 5 2/3 innings per start, adding up to 178 on the season. That was his career high.

Can he last the entire season on the mound, and if he does, will he still be at full strength for the playoffs? Or will he count in October and falter when the Yankees need it most?

The top. We just saw. Nasty Nestor was one of the breakout stars of 2022, making the All-Star team and finishing eighth in AL Cy Young voting. He is able to look like an ace twice or even three times. If he ends up third in the playoff rotation, it’s reasonable to expect him to hold his position or even break into the top spot a few times.

The question: Is it repeatable?

Cortes never enjoyed much prestige. The Yankees lost him in the Rule 5 draft to the Orioles, and then the Orioles traded him back the following April. He was then traded to the Mariners for “future considerations,” hit minor league free agency and re-signed with the Yankees. He started 2021 in the minors.

He was a regular starter last year, but that was for 28 starts and 158 1/3 innings. He also went through a bit of a rough patch midway through the season. It’s good that he’s only three instead of being counted on as an ace, but there still has to be some level of concern that 2022 will end up being a down season for the southpaw.

The top. The two-time All-Star finished third and ninth in Cy Young voting. In those two seasons, he was 33-14 with a 3.18 ERA (137 ERA+), 1.09 WHIP and 450 strikeouts in 384 2/3 innings. He also pitched very well last season, going 7-3 with a 3.18 ERA (123 ERA+), 1.00 WHIP and 112 strikeouts in 102 innings. He looked like his old self when he was on the mound.

The question: Stays on the mound again. Those ace-level seasons in 2017-18. He made just three starts in 2019, zero in 2020 and appeared in four games in relief in 2021. Last year, he was absent from July 13 to September 21. Hand problems have hampered most of his career, including shoulder problems and then Tom. John’s surgery, which he had several setbacks during his recovery period. Last year it was a lat strain.

He can be great when he’s on the field. He also has zero 200-inning seasons and is just two more than his previous season of 102, the most recent coming in 2018. There has to be a concern about getting him through the season and then, if he does, how good he is. d endure a potentially deep playoff run.

The top. The fifth of five rebounders on this list, Montas looked like a Cy Young candidate in 2019. In 16 starts, he was 9-2 with a 2.63 ERA (164 ERA+), 1.12 WHIP and 103 strikeouts in 96 innings. In 2021, Montas finished sixth in AL Cy Young voting with a strong all-around season (3.37 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 207 K, 187 IP, 3.6 WAR). Last year before he was traded to the Yankees, he had a 3.18 ERA with 109 strikeouts in 104 2/3 innings.

The questions: The above-mentioned 2019 Yes, it came to an abrupt end because he was suspended for a PED violation. He was bad then in 2020.

He had a 6.35 ERA in eight starts for the Yankees after the trade last season. Only 6 2/3 innings pitched, but he has a brutal 9.45 playoff ERA.

At least here, we’re dealing with inconsistency plus a shoulder injury last season.

When he’s good, he’s great, but the record is full of landmines. Which option do the 2023 Yankees get for most of the season? How about when it matters most?

Overall, the Yankees have a rotation capable of looking like five aces when things are buzzing in the sky. It’s also not hard to see stretches where they have multiple members of the rotation on the injured list while at least one struggles to stay off the board. It could be a season of one with this group. Most reels are fun, though, and there’s enough twist here to believe this will be one of the best reels in baseball.

The Yankees haven’t won the AL title since 2009, and that’s an age for this franchise. They’ve reached the ALCS three times in the last six seasons, and all three times they’ve been swept by the Houston Astros. The defending World Series champions will have a very strong rotation next season, but they lost Cy Young winner Justin Verlander in free agency while the Yankees brought in someone who could make a push for the Cy Young Award. They now aim to take down their foes and finally return to the World Series. They have a turn to finish the job, but in the process they have to answer a lot of questions.


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