New York Yankees: Awesome pitching leads Yankees to seven wins in a row

New York Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga
Sep 30, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga (38) walks off of the field after the second inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

For the New York Yankees, pitching is the word, and the word is that it is “awesome.” The Yankees, who had a rough start to spring training, have now won seven games in a row, and it’s mostly due to excellent pitching. The Yankees have 12 pitchers with an ERA of .000. The Yankee pitching in spring training so far looks better than it has in years, mostly due to the pitching staff’s immense depth. That staff is a mix of veterans and young arms showing off before Opening Day at Yankee Stadium.

At the head of that pack is Domingo German, who has pitched a full 9 innings across 3 games. He hasn’t allowed a run while allowing only 1 walk and striking out 13 opponents per 9 innings. It’s early, and it’s only spring training, but this is a sign of a 20 game-winner. German in 2019 before his suspension had an 18-4 record. Another standout is Jonathan Loaisiga, who has had an excellent command of his arsenal. Loaisiga has pitched 8.1 innings so far, not allowing a run, walking two, allowing only 2 hits, and is striking out 8 per nine innings.

There is no question that Domingo German is the Yankee pitching star in this spring training. German was suspended at the end of the 2019 season and all of 2020. The Yankees had no idea what to expect after not pitching for so long. But the Yankees have been more than happy with what they have seen so far in their starting pitcher that was 18-4 in 2019 before his suspension. He has pitched more innings than any Yankee pitcher, and with 9 innings under his belt, he has yet to allow a run in 3 games. He is also striking out 14 batters per nine innings pitched. He is one of the pitchers in contention for the fifth spot in the rotation. At the moment, he looks to have a lock on the number four or five spot.

Jonathan Loaisiga:

Jonathan Loaisiga is an exciting pitcher. We don’t know if he is a starter or a reliever. He has performed in both roles. So far, his control is excellent. In six innings pitched, he has allowed no runs and has a tiny WHIP of .033. It is doubtful that the Yankees will add him to the starting rotation, but they will seriously look at him if there are any injuries.

Nick Nelson:

Nick Nelson may be the surprise of spring training. Nelson is a reliever that is looking to make the team in the bullpen. Right now, he is one of the best relievers in spring training. He has relieved in 6.1 innings and has not allowed a run. He has also struck out one player per inning. Whatever he is doing, he needs to continue to do it. The Yankees noticed his potential late in the last season.

Jameson Taillon:

Jameson Taillon came to the New York Yankees via a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is coming back from his second Tommy John surgery. The Yankees took quite a risk acquiring a pitcher that hasn’t pitched in nearly two years. They hoped for the best while hoping he could at least replace Masahiro Tanaka, who is now pitching in the Japanese leagues.  So far this spring training, he has not disappointed. He has an ERA of .000 with no runs allowed in 5.2 innings. What is really encouraging to the Yankees is that he looks even better than his stats and is totally healthy.

Aroldis Chapman, Luis Gil, Yoendrys Gomez, Trevor Lane, Glenn Otto, Addison Russ, and Adam Warren all have 0.00 ERA’s. One pitcher really stands out, and he is Lucas Luetge. He has relieved for 5 innings, allowing 2 hits, 1 walk, and 19.8 strikeouts per 9 innings. He is a legitimate strikeout machine. Jordan Montgomery is 2-0 with an ERA of 1.80. Deivi Garcia is 0-1 with an ERA of 2.25.

The only concerns for pitching coach Matt Blake are the two pitchers we expect to be at the top of the pack but aren’t. Yankee ace Gerrit Cole has struggled and has the highest ERA of any potential starter in the rotation at 4.70. Corey Kluber has an ERA of 3.00. Of the starters, he has pitched the fewest innings, only six. He has given up 4 hits and one home run with only 7.5 strikeouts per 9.

Kluber looks good but has yet to find the command that the 2 time Cy Young Award winner is known for. The “Kluber slider” is looking good, and Kluber is sure to come around. He is healthy; that is the good news. Cole showed us last year that he is dominating when pitching to Kyle Higashioka. So far in spring training, he has pitched to a different catcher in each of his three games. His best performance has been with Higashioka. Both Cole and Kluber are intense pros and bulldogs; they will sort it out hopefully before opening day.

Here is how the starting rotation looks as of today.

  1. Gerrit Cole – ERA 4.70 SO9 – 12.9 – WHIP – 1.43
  2. Corey Kluber – ERA 3.00 SO9 – 7.5 – WHIP – .0667
  3. Jameson Taillon – ERA 0.00 SO9  – 14.3 – WHIP – 1.412
  4. Jordan Montgomery – ERA 1.80 – SO9 – 5.4 – WHIP – 1.200
  5. Domingo German – ERA .0.00 – SO9 -  13   – WHIP – .0667

Any baseball team would be proud and excited to have a starting rotation with these stats. Personally, if Domingo German continues with an ERA of zero through the rest of spring training, I would put away Gerrit Cole’s pride and start German on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, but that’s just me. I am sure the New York Yankees will do what they feel best. The bottom line is that if the Yankee lineup can stay healthy and the Yankees pitch as they have during the last week, the New York Yankees will be the team to be contended with and will have their best chance at a 28th World Championship.

The next New York Yankee game is today at the home of the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Florida, at TD Ballpark. Jordan Montgomery will face Thomas Hatch. The game time is 1:07 pm and will not be televised.