Rodón apologizes for turning back on pitching coach

October 1st, 2023

KANSAS CITY -- offered an apology to pitching coach Matt Blake on Saturday, one day after the frustrated left-hander turned his back during a first-inning mound visit in the Yankees’ 12-5 loss to the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Rodón faced eight batters and was unable to retire any, seeing all of those runs come around to score on his watch in the worst outing of his career. The mound visit transpired after Rodón allowed a hit to Nick Loftin, the sixth batter of the inning.

“It’s not ideal,” Blake said. “I was a little disappointed in the moment, how it’s being handled. But anytime you go out into the arena like that, emotions are running high, especially with him at times. It’s what makes him great. It also can be his undoing.”

Rodón and manager Aaron Boone had a lengthy closed-door meeting after the outing, which concluded Rodón’s rocky first season in pinstripes. Signed to a six-year, $162 million contract in December, the 30-year-old Rodón was 3-8 with a 6.85 ERA in 14 starts.

Boone said that had Rodón’s transgression occurred earlier in the season, he could have been subject to discipline. It was not Rodón’s first notable onfield incident of the season; he blew a kiss to a heckling fan during a rough July 19 outing at Angel Stadium.

“He’s had a very difficult year,” Boone said. “Look, what happened is not acceptable, and it’s something that we want to make sure we address properly. But we do feel like we’re in a good spot, and there’s no ill intentions there on Carlos’ part.”

Rodón said after Friday’s game that he would apologize to Blake. According to Blake, Rodón seemed “remorseful” during their chat.

Said Blake: “It’s not what you’re looking for or the way you want it to be handled, but at the same time, you understand it’s born out of a place of frustration in himself and the situation we’re in.”

Rodón did not make his Yankees debut until July 7 because of back issues. He also missed time in August due to a strained left hamstring.

“I never really feel like he got enough traction to get going, and it’s something we’ll have to continue to look into,” Blake said. “Now he’s got a full year under his belt, and there’s a lot more understanding of what kind of feedback he needs. The offseason gives us fresh ground to work on some things.”

Having thrown only 35 pitches on Friday, Rodón volunteered to take the mound again if needed during the Yanks’ final two games. Otherwise, Rodón said that he is looking forward to the end of 2023, a season that he would rather forget.

“I’m just kind of looking forward to taking a little bit of time for myself and getting away from baseball,” Rodón said. “When the time is right, hopefully a couple of weeks after that, I’ll get back to training and really focus on what I want to do on the mound.”