On YES Network’s “Hot Stove”, analyst Buck Showalter suggested that the New York Yankees rotation should “go young”. The Yankees rotation is in a roster turnover, with many of their arms from 2020 hitting the free agency market this winter. They could choose to go to free agency to staff the rotation, or focus on in-house options.
Some of those in-house options include Jordan Montgomery, Deivi Garcia, and Clarke Schmidt. All three of these guys have had opportunities in the majors, with Montgomery being on the roster since 2017.
Montgomery pitched to a 9-7 in 2017, his rookie season. He had a 3.88 ERA 144 strikeouts and a 1.230 WHIP over 155.1 innings, finishing sixth in Rookie of the Year voting.
He would make six starts in 2018 before injuring his arm and being forced to undergo Tommy John surgery, sidelining him until the end of the 2019 season. Montgomery appeared twice leading up to the 2019 postseason to shake-off the rust, beginning his 2020 comeback.
His first full-season back saw him finish with a 2-3 record and a 5.11 ERA in 10 starts, slowly returning back to his normal self and showing glimmers of success.
Garcia and Schmidt, on the other hand, have far less experience. While Garcia made six starts in 2020, Schmidt appeared just three times. Garcia posted a 4.98 ERA, while Schmidt held a 7.11 ERA to his name.
If the Yankees were to focus on in-house options filling the rotation, it would be a high risk, high reward scenario. The team would save a lot of money by pitching young guys who have a lot of potential. On the other hand, the Yankees are one of the best teams in all of baseball, and not going after veterans could hurt their postseason chances.
Veterans provide experience with proven talent, something you won’t see in young pitchers. For the Yankees to have the most success, they may be better off mixing in-house guys with veteran free-agents.
Showalter’s proposal of the Yankees rotation going young sounds like a good idea, but won’t work. With how competitive the Yankees are, the can’t afford to stay away from high-profile, proven veterans. Having a mix of young pitchers may help the team, but focusing solely on young-guns will hurt the Yankees.