In Rodón’s final start of the year, against the Royals, one of the worst teams in baseball at 55–105, the left-hander got shelled. He failed to record a single out before getting pulled from the game and ended up getting charged with eight earned runs on six hits and two walks.
To make matters worse, Rodón struggled to maintain his composure on the mound, even when interacting with members of his own organization. After Rodón already had given up four runs on 22 pitches, he was visited on the bump by Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake, but Rodón appeared to snub Blake, turning his back on him and seemingly gesturing for the coach to return to the dugout.
After the game, manager Aaron Boone expressed his hope to see the 30-year-old lefty exhibit better “mound presence,” mentioning that his “first take” on the exchange between Rodón and Blake was that it was disrespectful.
Rodón didn’t disagree.
“I was just frustrated,” Rodón said of the incident after New York’s 12–5 loss. “[Blake] was trying to come out and help, and it was kind of one of those things where it was just like obviously frustrated with the situation. I’ve given up five runs on five hits. I think I walked a guy and couldn’t get an out in the first inning. It wasn’t good.”
Carlos Rodon turning his back to Matt Blake and gesturing him to go back to the dugout while Blake was trying to talk to him was certainly something pic.twitter.com/HO5RirjenD— Addison (@YankeeWRLD) September 30, 2023
When asked whether the action might be perceived as disrespectful, Rodón candidly agreed.
“I’m sure it was,” he said. “I’m sure it wasn’t great. Definitely not the best move there. Shouldn’t happen. I was frustrated with myself and my performance. Really embarrassing, and then doing that with Matt, coming out, trying to help me, I turned my back. … That’s on me.”
Immediately after the game, Rodón said he hadn’t spoken with Blake since the exchange, explaining that he wanted to “cool off” and give the coach time to do the same.
After the dismal evening and Rodón’s final start of the campaign, his ERA rose to 6.85. The Yankees fell to 81–79 on the year with two games remaining against the Royals before season’s end.