The Yankees have something special developing in the starting rotation

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles, luis gil
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Despite losing ace Gerrit Cole to injury, the New York Yankees have shown strength in their pitching lineup this season. However, their offense has struggled to keep up, particularly evident in their series against the Baltimore Orioles, where they’ve lost two out of the first three games.

Luis Gil Has Been Stellar For The Yankees

While the Yankees’ offense has been volatile, they received a standout performance from Luis Gil, a 25-year-old pitcher who stepped into a starting role due to Cole’s absence. Gil has been impressive, boasting a 3.19 ERA and 3.43 FIP across 31 innings with a striking 11.61 strikeouts per nine innings. He has managed to maintain a 73.1% left-on-base rate and a 36.8% ground ball rate, although he aims to reduce his walk rate of 5.81 batters per nine.

In Wednesday’s game, Gil excelled, giving up just two hits and striking out five over 6.1 innings, throwing 58 of his 95 pitches for strikes. This performance was reminiscent of his 2021 season before undergoing Tommy John surgery. With a contract extending to 2029, Gil offers the Yankees a high-potential, cost-efficient starter.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles
Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Teammate Oswaldo Cabrera noted Gil’s focus before the game, saying, “I knew this game would be special for him because he was so serious on the bus. When I stepped on the bus and I saw that guy just concentrating, in my mind, I was like, ‘Watch out.'”

Gil’s Promising Outlook

Gil’s expected ERA stands at 2.28, significantly lower than his actual ERA, and he ranks highly in expected batting average (.138) and hard-hit ball rate (27.9%). His pitching arsenal includes a four-seam fastball, change-up, and slider. The fastball, averaging 96.5 mph, has a .167 batting average against, a 35.8% whiff rate, and a 25.3% put-away rate, making it a particularly effective pitch.

While his slider has been less effective, allowing a .267 batting average, it is his least-used pitch. On the other hand, his change-up has been devastating, with batters hitting just .087 against it.

Gil’s improvement is a welcome development for the Yankees, especially with teammates Nestor Cortes and Carlos Rodon recovering from injuries. His consistent performance has been crucial, and his future contributions will be essential, particularly as the Yankees consider their rotation strategy upon Cole’s return.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles, luis gil
Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees face a decision on whether to maintain a five-man rotation or expand to six, potentially giving their starters more rest between appearances. This decision will significantly impact the team’s strategy as they aim to bolster their performance and support their pitching staff.

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