The Yankees could shake up their starting rotation when injured players return

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The New York Yankees face critical decisions regarding their starting rotation following the July trade deadline. Although the unit has performed well overall, they encountered some instability in June, leading to a much-needed pause for the All-Star break.

Injured Pitchers Poised for Return

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The team eagerly anticipates the return of Clarke Schmidt and Cody Poteet from injuries. Schmidt, who suffered a right lat injury, has recently resumed his throwing program (June 28) after being placed on the 60-day injured list, which sidelined him for two months. His expected return in August could bolster the rotation or add depth to the bullpen.

Managing Pitcher Fatigue

May 18, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Gil (81) reacts after the final out in the top of the sixth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Manager Aaron Boone faces decisions regarding Luis Gil, the 26-year-old starter who has shown signs of fatigue, evident in a recent ERA increase to 3.15 and 12 earned runs over just 5.2 innings in his latest outings. The Yankees may consider shifting Gil to the bullpen to reduce his workload and preserve his arm strength for potential playoff appearances.

Concerns Over Carlos Rodon’s Performance

There are growing concerns around Carlos Rodon, the 31-year-old starter with a 4.42 ERA this season. Rodon’s recent performances have been disappointing, with 20 earned runs over his last three starts totaling 13.2 innings. Given the Yankees’ substantial investment in him, his ability to perform in the postseason is under scrutiny.

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Gerrit Cole as a Reliable Pillar

Gerrit Cole remains a crucial element of the rotation despite some initial volatility in first few starts returning from injury. His recent performance against Toronto—allowing just one earned run over five innings with six strikeouts—suggests stability when it’s needed most.

Strategic Moves and Future Prospects

As the season progresses, the Yankees are fortunate to be addressing these issues in June and July rather than closer to the playoffs. General Manager Brian Cashman still has time to strengthen the roster and address any emerging gaps, particularly in the infield and bullpen.

Schmidt and Poteet’s returns are highly anticipated, with Schmidt showing promise with a 2.52 ERA over 60.2 innings before his injury, and Poteet providing versatility from a relief role with a 2.14 ERA over 21 innings. The Yankees’ strategy will likely involve internal adjustments rather than seeking external acquisitions, focusing on getting key players healthy and operational for a strong playoff run.

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