In recent weeks the New York Yankees pitching rotation has turned heads in the baseball world, particularly among the 29 other MLB teams. Before the season started, the expectations were that the rotation could be great, but the early results didn’t show that. Now the rust has been shaken off, the results are outstanding and can only get better. For more information on each pitcher, go to my fellow writer Alexander Wilson’s article.
The entire pitching rotation is held together by New York Yankee ace Gerrit Cole. He has just been phenomenal, eclipsing his 2019 stats with the Houston Astros. Like the retired closer, Mariano Rivera, made fans think that when he takes the mound, the foregone conclusion is that the Yankees will get another win. So far this season, he is 6-2 with an ERA of 1.81. He has given up just 13 runs while striking out an amazing 92 opponents. That is second in strikeouts only to the Indians, Shane Bieber. But we expect that from Cole, don’t we?
New York Yankee legend Andy Pettitte has spent time with the rotation and says of Cole:
“It’s very rare that you find a player with his knowledge, his awareness. His mind works like a player that has had fifteen years in the big leagues. That’s the first thing that stands out, how sure of himself he was. His approach to the game, his knowlege of the history of the game. He’s going to be a huge contributor both on the field and in the clubhouse.”
If you notice, Cole has become a mentor to all the other New York Yankees pitchers. You usually see him chat with every pitcher when they come out of a game. Cole loves to talk about the fine nuances of pitching and freely shares it with his teammates.
What has Yankees fans so excited is the emergence of Corey Kluber as maybe a second ace for the Yankees. We might forget, but he is a two-time Cy Young Award winner and could return to the form that won him those prestigious awards. After his no-hitter, that thought has become closer to reality. Imagine going into the postseason with the one-two punch of Cole and Kluber; if both are at their best, they can defeat any team facing them.
But from there, it only gets better. Domingo German is pitching great and showing signs of his 18-4 2019 season. German this season seems to be getting better the more he pitches. In his last outing against the Rangers, he pitched seven scoreless innings in a game the Yankees won 2-0. The Yankees have won his last six starts. Jameson Taillon and Jordan Montgomery are both close to getting it figured out but still need some work. Pitching coach Matt Blake has been working with them so they can contribute to a higher level. Pettitte said of Montgomery, “we need to get him right; I see him as a big contributor for the Yankees.”
Many of the pitching mysteries at the beginning of the season have been resolved for so many pitchers that had not pitched in a year or more, but there is one huge one yet to come. That is, how will Luis Severino pitch when he returns to the team sometime around the All-Star break? Severino is coming back from Tommy John surgery, and so far, reports on his rehab have been good.
In the first half of the 2018 season, he recorded 14 wins before the All-Star Game, the first Pitcher since 1969, when Mel Stottlemyre did it. He was again selected to pitch in the All-Star game. Severino started the AL Wild Card game against the Oakland Athletics in a game the Yankees won 7-2. Severino finished the season 19-8 with an ERA of 3.39. He led all major league pitchers with an average fastball velocity of 97.6 miles per hour for the second consecutive year. At the end of the season, Severino signed a $40 million contract for four years with a Yankee option for a fifth year.
Imagine this for a moment… The New York Yankees win the AL East and go into the postseason with a Luis Severino, which returns to the 2018 form, Domingo German, which returns to the 2019 form led by Gerrit Cole and Corey Kluber. Could the New York Yankees end up with four ace-like pitchers? My friends, can you say 28th World Championship?