The Yankees’ pitching staff has been the league’s best in the early going

Andres Chavez
New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole
Feb 12, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) throws during a bullpen session as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have a 3-3 mark in the early going, half a game behind the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox for the American League East division. They started the season losing the first series against the Toronto Blue Jays two games to one, then took the next series versus the O’s.

Despite playing for .500 ball, the Yankees’ pitchers have been nothing short of amazing in the first six games of the season. Of course, we know that six contests isn’t nearly enough to claim they have the best staff in the league, but they have been demonstrating an elite level.

A lot of the early season success can be attributed to the Gas Station, a pitching development complex that the Yankees used in Tampa during spring training. It has high-tech resources and machines that help pitchers understand where they can improve and what they are doing right.

Yankees’ pitchers spent hours honing their crafts in the Gas Station, viewing release points, spin rates, and other data bits that have proven successful in the early going.

The Yankees have the league’s best ERA

The Yankees’ pitchers, as a whole, have a league-leading 1.74 ERA, and have 73 strikeouts, which is the most for the team in any season through the first six games.

“I just think overall as a group, we’ve got a great staff, top to bottom,” Yankees’ catcher Kyle Higashioka said to the team’s official site. “Even the young guys, we know that they can step up big when it counts.”

Thanks in part to the Gas Station, Yankees’ closer Aroldis Chapman added a third pitch to his deadly arsenal, a splitter, and Gerrit Cole is already missing bats with his four-pitch repertoire, accumulating 21 punchouts in his first two starts. Nick Nelson, Jonathan Loaisiga, Chad Green, Luis Cessa, Jordan Montgomery, and even Jameson Taillon have also impressed.

“We’ve got a long way to go, but I like where our pitching culture is, as far as the conversations that are being had and the plans that are being put in place as a group,” manager Aaron Boone said. “The guys are really going out and executing well so far.”