The Yankees have been blessed by the pitching gods once again

MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees, luis gil
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2024 season began, there were valid concerns about the Yankees‘ starting rotation, particularly with Gerrit Cole absent. The team depended on Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes to bounce back from serious injuries and on Clarke Schmidt to progress significantly.

Additionally, the Yankees bolstered their lineup by signing veteran Marcus Stroman and promoting Luis Gil, hoping he could reclaim his form from before his Tommy John surgery.

Yankees’ Rotation Exceeds Expectations Without Cole

Surprisingly, the rotation has emerged as one of the best in baseball, even without Cole at the helm. Luis Gil, in particular, has shown tremendous promise, suggesting that he may be the next star in the making for the Yankees.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees, luis gil
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Luis Gil’s Ascension and Mentorship from Cole

During his outstanding performance on Saturday, which included 14 strikeouts and only one earned run, Gil benefited from mentorship and advice from Gerrit Cole, a previous Cy Young Award winner. “I have a great professor in Gerrit Cole,” Gil remarked through a translator. “He’s always around and always giving me pointers.” This season, Gil has pitched 49 innings with a remarkable 2.39 ERA and 11.39 strikeouts per nine innings. His ability to keep the ball in the park is illustrated by a low 6.5% HR/FB ratio.

Manager Aaron Boone highlighted Gil’s performance, particularly his fastball, which he described as possibly “the best of the year.” Gil’s fastball, averaging 96.4 mph, has been formidable, holding hitters to a .167 batting average and racking up 37 strikeouts. His change-up and slider are equally effective, contributing to his growing reputation as one of the Yankees’ top starters.

With Cole’s impending return, the Yankees face a challenging decision on their rotation configuration. They could opt for a six-man rotation to give pitchers additional rest or consider moving someone to the bullpen. Given Gil’s performance, removing him from the starting lineup seems unlikely, presenting Boone with a pleasant dilemma.

As the season progresses, Pitching Coach Matt Blake has been instrumental in refining the skills of the bullpen arms, but Gil has become his standout success story. If Gil continues on this trajectory, he could end the season with an All-Star caliber performance and play a crucial role in the postseason, whether as a starter or a key bullpen figure.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: