Carlos Rodón's 'awkward' interview actually displayed confidence Yankees need

If Rodón can be *that guy* on the field, he'll have a chance.

Feb 25, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA;  New York Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (55) throws a
Feb 25, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (55) throws a / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
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There's nothing wrong with New York Yankees left-hander Carlos Rodón knowing that he's good when healthy. And he needs to continue to remember that, especially as he works through kinks that have lasted longer than anyone would've liked this spring training.

Rodón peaked at 95.9 MPH in his spring debut after tall tales about his 97 MPH fastballs in February bullpen sessions started this year with a hidden bang. His bullpen session that followed was not quite so legendary; though it happened off camera, Rodón reportedly surrendered four homers to four different minor-leaguers while workshopping his cutter.

The lefty's third spring appearance (second game outing) on Wednesday? More of the cutter, more of the breaking stuff, and not his best fastball -- he sat 92-93 instead of peaking at a world-beating level. Rodón spun it decently, but still managed to surrender homers to the first and final batters of his outing. Add in the homer he gave up to the final batter of his first game, and it wouldn't be difficult to envision his confidence being shaken in the wake of a 2023 season where nothing went right (nothing except a pretty cool mustache, that is).

After the game, Rodón didn't seem as down as he could've been -- or as a lesser man would've been. While talking to Jack Curry, he repeated something Curry intimated he'd told him off mic -- that he was still "pretty good at this game" when healthy. Some Yankee fans, bummed out by Rodón's lengthy mystery deal and looking to seize on every quirk for their anger generator, might be frustrated at hearing a 6.85 ERA guy working through reshaping his arsenal call himself "pretty good" at a low moment.

But, considering how shaken he could've been after another dip (which, again, ended on a fart noise), it was nice to hear something approximating a confident headspace from the embattled lefty.

Yankees left-hander Carlos Rodón is "pretty good" when healthy, actually

The gap between Rodón's Yankees career and what he could've represented for this team is as frustrating as any recent downfall. Sonny Gray's smile doesn't have anything on a fire-breathing lefty developing a chronic back issue immediately following fifth- and sixth-place Cy Young finishes, coincidentally around the time he signed on a dotted line in the Bronx. Sure, Rodón has always been a health risk. He acknowledged as such. But this issue was a completely different one than any ding he'd displayed in the past. As an exhausted fan, it would seem fair to think "another one."

But, if that's on Rodón's mind, he didn't show it on Wednesday. He just continued to go through the particulars of his process, working on varying his arsenal without stressing the heat or the unfortunate intro/outro to his outing.

He preferred the meat of the sandwich. And, if he's able to continue talking a big game, maybe he'll eventually play one, too. Yankees fans will be sitting here waiting to match his energy, as they've been desperate to do mid-waver ever since he first put on the pinstripes.

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