The Yankees are going to have a hard time booting Gerrit Cole’s supplement out of the rotation

May 1, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  New York Yankees pitcher Luis Gil (81) throws a second inning pitch against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is steadily progressing through his rehabilitation from a nerve injury in his throwing elbow. While his expected return is slated for June, the Yankees are providing ample time for a complete recovery to ensure Cole’s health and effectiveness for the rest of the 2024 season.

In the meantime, 25-year-old starter Luis Gil has risen to the challenge, stepping into the final spot in the starting rotation. Surprisingly, Gil has been the Yankees’ best pitcher in the first month of the season, creating a challenging decision for the front office when Cole returns. With his stellar performance, Gil has earned a strong case to stay in the rotation long-term, forcing the Yankees to determine which starter to move out.

Luis Gil’s Stellar Performance for the Yankees

Over 31 innings this season, Gil boasts a 3.19 ERA, 11.61 strikeouts per nine, a 73.9% left-on-base rate, and a 36.8% ground ball rate. He’s a high-strikeout pitcher who hasn’t allowed many home runs but does need to minimize his walks.

However, his control has improved recently. In the past 11.1 innings, Gil struck out 11 batters while walking only three. His latest appearance against the Baltimore Orioles saw him pitch 6.1 scoreless innings against one of the league’s best offenses—a clear demonstration of his dominance.

After Tommy John surgery and rehabilitation, Gil ranks in the 99th percentile for expected batting average at .138 and in the 94th percentile for expected ERA at 2.30, indicating that his performance has been slightly unlucky at times and that his metrics could be even better.

Gil relies on a combination of fastball, changeup, and slider. His fastball yields a .143 batting average with a 32.9% whiff rate and 24.5% put-away rate. When his fastball is on target, opposing batters struggle to make contact due to its impressive 11.7 inches of vertical movement.

If Gil continues refining his accuracy, he could solidify his position as one of the Yankees’ top starters in the coming seasons. His recent form makes a compelling case for him to remain in the starting rotation even after Cole returns.

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