When fans turn on their Television on April 1 to watch the first game of the 2021 baseball season, they will see the New York Yankee’s ace Gerrit Cole face the Toronto Blue Jay’s ace Hyun Jin Ryu. After that, fans will see a totally different pitching rotation, a whole new look, the biggest change since the 2009 season when the Yankees won their last World Series. The only two holdover pitchers from last year are Cole and Jordan Montgomery.
The projected starting rotation is projected to look like this: 1. Gerrit Cole, 2. Corey Kluber, 3. Jameson Taillon DD, 4. Jordan Montgomery, 5. Deivi Garcia. Taillon is listed as a day to day decision lineup according to ESPN. Zack Britton will also be closing the first two games at the Stadium as Aroldis Chapman serves his suspension for allegedly throwing at the Tampa Bay Ray’s Mike Brosseau. The question is, how do the New York Yankees’ pitching rotation stack up against the other 30 MLB teams?
Joe Giglio of NJ Advance Media has taken to the task of rating the starting rotation of all the MLB teams. Giglio is with NJ.com and is a host on WFAN in New York and WIP in Philadelphia. According to Giglio, the Yankees have the 8th best pitching rotation in baseball. Here are the top 10 teams. I believe the Yankees should be number 6 on the list, but that being said, I believe if general manager Brian Cashman’s risks pay off, they might be number one.
- The San Deigo Padres: The Padres have been one of the most active teams this offseason to improve their rotation and the team as a whole. They have overtaken the Los Angeles Dodgers having the best rotation in baseball. Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Dinelson Lamet, Joe Musgrove, Chris Paddack lead off their rotation. Darvish, Snell, and Musgrove are all new to the team. The best left-handed pitching prospect in baseball waiting in the wings, MacKenzie Gore.
- Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers have always put forth a great pitching rotation; this year, they will be challenged by the Padres in the NL West. The Dodgers rotation shapes up this way: Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, David Price, Dustin May. Kershaw was 6-2 with an ERA of 2.16 last season; Yu Darvish had the most starts, along with Gerrit Cole in baseball with 12 starts and a record of 8-3 and an ERA of 2.01.
- Cleveland Indians: The Indians pitching rotation will look like this: Shane Bieber, Zach Pleasc, Aaron Civale, Triston McKenzie, Logan Allen. The Indians have a reputation for having one of the best pitcher development systems in baseball. The Yankees Corey Kluber was with the Indians from 2011 for nine years. Shane Bieber had the best record in baseball last year, 8-1 with an ERA of 1.63. However, it should be noted that the Yankee rolled over the Indians in the two-game 2020 postseason, with Cole beating Bieber in the first games and Chapman taking the win in the second game.
- Atlanta Braves: Their rotation will be Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Ian Anderson, Drew Smyly, Kyle Wright, Mike Soroka is a mix of young and veterans. Morton and Smyly are additions this year. Charlie Morton was with the Tampa Bay Rays during the 2020 season.
- The Washington Nationals: The Nationals, for the last few years, has had one of the best pitching rotations on paper. In 2019 that paid off when they won the World Series. This year the rotation looks like this: Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, Jon Lester, Joe Ross. This year’s enhancement includes picking up Jon Lester, and in the bullpen, Brad Hand.
- The Chicago White Sox: The Whites Sox have been the second most active mover and shaker in the offseason. Their 2021 rotation is Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Lance Lynn, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech. Lance Lynn, the former Yankee in 2018, is a workhorse. They also picked up a former Yankee target Liam Hendriks to add to their bullpen.
- The New York Mets: Their rotation is lead by what many industry sources say is the best pitcher in baseball, Jacob deGrom. He is followed by Carlos Carrasco, Marcus Stroman, David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, Noah Syndergaard. Stroman re-signed this year, and Carlos Carrasco came to the Mets with the Francisco Lindor deal from the Indians.
- The New York Yankees: The Yankees have a whole new look this season dumping some mediocre pitchers for a new low risk, high reward bet on pitchers coming back for the first time after not pitching last year. Many sources that don’t believe deGrom is the best say that Gerrit Cole is, and he leads off the Yankees. Behind him this season is newly acquired 2 times Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, Jordan Montgomery, and Deivi Garcia. Because of the question marks, the rotation does not make the top five; however, if all pans out and with the New York Yankees amazing depth of Luis Severino, Domingo German, and Clarke Schmidt, the Yankees have the potential of having the best rotation in baseball.
- After the Yankees, the rotations drop off quickly. Number nine is the Oakland Athletics. They will feature Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas, Jesus Luzardo, Chris Bassitt, A.J. Puk. The Athletic beat the White Sox in the Wild Card but lost to the Astros in the Division Series. Although the A’s have been active, they have picked up any big names to improve the team.
- The Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers will again be contenders this season. The Brewer’s problem if they have a tremendous one-two punch leading off the pitching staff, but from there, it falls off dramatically with a lack of depth. Their rotation will be Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Josh Lindblom, Adrian Houser, Eric Lauer. The Brewers are hoping for a Lindblom bounceback.