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by: Victor Suarez

Carlos Rodon’s improved physique has caught the eye this spring training, but the Yankees’ left-hander is most excited about how his body feels. After an injury-riddled first season in New York, he’s focused on perfecting his mechanics to recapture the dominance he displayed with the White Sox and Giants in 2021-22.

“I’m moving the way I know I should,” Rodon said, emphasizing his streamlined delivery. “Last year, everything felt off. I kept searching, but never found it. This offseason was about pinpointing those movements, drilling them so they become automatic.”

The results are tangible. Rodon’s fastball velocity has increased significantly from this time last year, already touching 97 mph. Pitching coach Matt Blake believes Rodon’s struggles in 2023 stemmed from overexertion as he tried to impress early on in his Yankees tenure. Now, Blake sees a healthier, more efficient pitcher accessing his power with relative ease.

This transformation began well before spring training. Rodon started throwing unusually early this winter and arrived in Tampa in January primed to dissect his delivery. With help from coaches and extensive video analysis, he has painstakingly refined his approach.

Of course, there’s more to pitching success than mechanics. Rodon is determined to erase his injury-prone label and better manage his emotions on the mound. He sees rediscovering his delivery as a foundation upon which to build those improvements.

“If I’m moving right,” he said, “everything else will fall into place.”

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