The rotation is a problematic area for the New York Yankees

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ
Jul 29, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pauses before pitching against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have one of the league’s premier offenses, a solid bullpen and their team defense is probably better than the average fan realizes. The club actually leads the AL East and is among the best organizations in MLB. The starting pitching? Well, that’s a problem area. Maybe the only one right now.

Gerrit Cole, the Yankees’ ace that signed a mammoth deal last winter, has been fine, even if he still isn’t his usual filthy, dominant self (2.55 ERA, but 4.28 FIP). Give him time and he will probably reach that kind of form. However, behind him, the club has had lots of issues.

Masahiro Tanaka was hit in the head by a Giancarlo Stanton screaming line drive (he is lucky to be back pitching so fast, to be honest) and didn’t start the season on the active roster. He is a ways from his top form. J.A. Happ (10.29 ERA, 11.17 FIP and a putrid 8.3 K% in 7.0 innings) has been plain bad for the Yankees, while James Paxton (13.50 ERA, 4.53 FIP) seems hurt and is showing diminished velocity.

The Yankees’ rotation depth is being tested

Jordan Montgomery is inconsistent and just lost on Thursday, allowing five earned runs in four frames against the Phillies. Luis Severino is out for the year with Tommy John surgery, and Domingo German is still serving his suspension for the rest of the year. He won’t be an option for the 2020 shortened season.

Jonathan Loaisiga has failed to develop pin-point command or a successful, reliable arsenal that includes a third pitch. Mike King, another top young option, has a 7.71 ERA and a 6.89 FIP. As you can see, not everything is pink and roses around the New York Yankees, especially in the starting pitching department.

All in all, you can say without fear that the Yankees’ rotation is in shambles. Thankfully, they still have two top young prospects waiting in the wings, in Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt. Will they play those cards so early in the season? Or will they keep them down to play the service time game?

The Yankees need to find solutions with Paxton, and determine whether he is hurt or if his mechanics are just off. That would facilitate some decisions. Montgomery requires patience, as does Tanaka. They will probably be fine.

Happ is another story. Will the Yankees replace him? Let’s see how the next few weeks play out.