New York Yankees fans learned that Luis Severino will require Tommy John surgery after missing all but two weeks of the last season, due to rotator cuff and lat injuries. Yankee fans are thinking, “it’s deja vu all over again”.
Last season the Yankees lost 30 players to 39 separate entries to the IL. Now with losing James Paxton to Back surgery and ace Luis Severino to Tommy John surgery, the Yankee hopeful are hoping this is not a return to last year’s unprecedented injuries. The very practical matter Yankee management must deal with and right away is who will replace these pitchers in the rotation that previously was thought to be one of the best in baseball with the addition of the $324MM Gerrit Cole.
The pitching rotation will now be led by Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ, who was recently announced at the first starter. Happ will now move two spots up to number three. The previous choice as a six starter or replacement was LHP Jordan Montgomery, who is also returning from Tommy John. He missed all of last season rehabbing from the surgery. In 2017-18 the 27-year-old posted a 3.84 ERA in 35 career starts before he got hurt. Pitchers returning from TJS seldom return to their previous form. This usually comes back in bits and pieces over a year to as much as three years. Pitching control is often the last element to return. In Gerrit Cole’s start on Monday, Jordan Montgomery pitched two clean innings in relief, which is encouraging.
That leaves the fifth spot in the rotation now open, General Manager Brian Cashman has made it clear that the saving grace for the Yankees is their pitching depth and the hungry players waiting to make a name for themselves. When questioned about the lack of trade possibilities, he stated:
“We’re always constantly looking for upgrades anyway, but this time of year, that’s how it shakes out, especially until after the June draft regardless. So, you rely on your depth. And I wouldn’t say (to) expect any domino effect or cause and effect in terms of us being able to go to the marketplace, where a marketplace typically this time of year doesn’t exist.”
The most logical candidates for the first spot are Jonathan Loaisiga and Micheal King, who are further along with their development. EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Alex Wilson reported on them earlier today. The other two possibilities are #1 prospect Deivi Garcia ad #2 prospect Clarke Schmidt who pitched in the game the Yankees lost to the Pirates. Baseball America ranks the New York Yankee pitching prospect Deivi Garcia the #2 pitching prospect, MLB Pipeline rates him as #1. No matter where you rank him, he is a Yankee prospect that will make an impact sooner than later.