Should the Yankees blow up their pitching corps?

MLB: Chicago Cubs at New York Yankees
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a tough season for the New York Yankees who are currently in last place in the AL East. A lot of attention has been focused on the issues with hitting and offense, which is a significant problem for them this season.

However, the biggest problem for the Yankees this season lies within the pitching corps, particularly the starting rotation. The starting rotation has struggled significantly, prompting many to debate whether the team should consider a complete overhaul of the pitching unit and start anew.

Injuries are plaguing the Yankees’ pitchers

Carlos Rodón was anticipated to make a significant impact on the team as one of the key offseason acquisitions, but it might have been a $162 Million dollar mistake. Unfortunately, he has struggled with injuries and, even when he has been healthy, has displayed signs of decline in performance. It’s encouraging to see him showing improvements in recent performances.

However, it’s not just Rodon who has been dealing with injuries; Nestor Cortes has played through a rotator cuff injury, and Frankie Montas has been grappling with a shoulder issue. Montas’ injury has been particularly severe, limiting his pitching appearances this season. There are concerns about whether he can return to his previous level of performance as seen during his time with the Oakland Athletics.

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Veteran pitchers have been disappointing

Luis Severino has been a beloved figure among Yankees fans for many years. However, this season has been quite disappointing for him, marked by significant regression in his performance. Moreover, his reliability has been a concern even during his better periods, often hampered by health issues. Adding to the concern, his contract is set to expire at the end of the season, leaving the team in a difficult position regarding his future

Domingo Germán is a different case compared to the bunch as he agreed to voluntarily submit to inpatient treatment for alcohol abuse. However, German has reportedly had arguments with Aaron Boone and many teammates. In one incident he even allegedly flipped a couch, smashed a TV, and made jokes while teammate Ron Marinaccio was packing his bags for Triple-A.

German’s past suspensions have contributed to a sense of baggage that could potentially impact the Yankees’ decision about his future with the team.

Not all has been bad

The only starting pitchers that have been consistent this season are Gerrit Cole and Clarke Schmidt. Cole has a legitimate chance of winning the Cy Young Award, and there’s potential in Schmidt as he’s having a solid season.

Schmidt’s value is likely to increase if he continues delivering strong pitching performances. It’s possible he might even receive a contract extension, or if circumstances align favorably, the Yankees could acquire valuable prospect compensation by trading him.

Next steps for the Yankees’ pitching unit

Considering the challenges the Yankees have faced with their starting pitching, it’s understandable that there’s a question about whether a major reevaluation and potential blow up the starting pitching corps. Contracts expiring for players like Severino and Cortes provide an opportunity for the team to reassess their roster and make strategic decisions.

Rodon’s situation is interesting, if he keeps up the strong performances, they can indeed increase his trade value and potentially allow the Yankees to address any concerns about his contract’s long-term impact. If he continues to excel, trading him while his value is high could be a prudent move.

German’s situation is more uncertain, given both his off-field issues. Evaluating his talent and potential contribution will be important, as well as considering how his presence might impact team dynamics and the culture of the locker room.

Ultimately, the decision to make significant changes to the starting pitching corps will depend on a combination of the team’s evaluation of each player’s performance, their contracts, and the broader strategy the Yankees want to pursue.

The front office will need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of retaining, trading, or letting go of these pitchers in order to build a competitive and sustainable roster moving forward. The current rotation they have now excluding Cole and Schmidt is just not going to work and blowing up the rotation is a solid idea for both the present and future of the organization.