Yankees’ Carlos Rodon offers brutally honest evaluation amid struggles

Carlos Rodon simply is not giving the New York Yankees a chance.

Especially as of late, Rodon has had a major issue during the first inning of starts. It’s getting to the point where the Yankees find themselves in a major hole immediately after the game begins.

After his latest poor outing Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, which included a four-run first inning, Rodon offered some brutally honest evaluation.

“I need to be better,” Rodon told reporters Tuesday. “Just not really giving my team a chance to win, giving up runs early.”

After holding a 2.93 ERA during his first 14 starts, Rodon’s underlying metrics have caught up to him. Over his last five starts, he has a 10.57 ERA.

Rodon has struggled particularly in the first inning this season. In his 19 starts this season, Rodon has a 9.00 ERA with a .321 average, seven home runs, four walks and 23 strikeouts in the first inning.

Part of the issue is that Rodon’s fastball in the first inning has been getting hammered. Hitters have a 94.3 mph exit velocity and a .545 slugging percentage against Rodon’s fastball this season.

“I think it’s partially, I try to attack with fastballs in the zone, and they’ve been getting on some heaters,” Rodon said. “We get out there in the second, we start mixing, we mix changeups, we mix curveballs. I got to make that adjustment as the game begins, just ready to use the whole arsenal from the get-go.”

Rodon has said something to that effect after each outing over the last month. But he still continues to lean on the fastball so no new adjustments are being made.

If the Yankees want to make a second-half run and put behind them a skid that has lasted nearly a month, they’ll need Rodon to be better.

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