The New York Yankees signed Gerrit Cole over the offseason to bolster their starting rotation, shaking things up a bit. Here is my projection for their 2020 starting rotation.
1. Gerrit Cole
When the Yankees signed Cole, it was the obvious expectation that he would become the ace. For $324 million, he better be the ace. He’s coming off a year that saw him go 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA, but wasn’t charged with a loss after May 22nd.
The expectation of the ace is a dominant pitcher with both power and finesse, and he sure fits the bill.
2. Luis Severino
Severino isn’t far from an ace, which is why it makes sense that he would be the number two pitcher. He only pitched in three regular season games in 2019 due to injuries, but was 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 2018. He hit a wall in the second half of 2018 and struggled through some starts, but that’s kinda expected with someone that young.
I have full confidence that he will bounce back in 2020.
3. James Paxton
Paxton is the number three starter in my mind to split up the two lefties. I think that Tanaka may be a bit better than Paxton overall, but it’s better if the two lefties don’t pitch back-to-back starts.
Big Maple was 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA in his first year in pinstripes, but was much better in the second half of the year. If he can continue to stay healthy, he will thrive in the three spot in the rotation.
4. Masahiro Tanaka
As I already said, I put Tanaka at the four spot to split up the two lefties.
Tanaka was 11-9 with a 4.45 ERA in 2019. His numbers are higher because of his inconsistency. Normally, the starts that he wins are because he is completely dominant, and is completely dominated in games that he loses. However, he did manage to get an all-star nomination in 2019. If he’s just more consistent, then him and the Yankees are golden.
5. Jordan Montgomery
Montgomery missed most of the 2018 and 2019 seasons due to Tommy John surgery.
In his 2017 rookie campaign, he was 9-7 with a 3.88 ERA and was one of the best fifth starters in baseball. I feel that he will come back strong in 2020 with similar numbers.
I left JA Happ off this list with the expectation that he will be traded. Domingo German was left off the list due to his suspension, but I suspect that he will take Montgomery’s spot once eligible again. Montgomery would then shift to the bullpen.