The Yankees’ starting rotation is doing something truly special

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

The New York Yankees‘ starting rotation has been performing exceptionally well early in the 2024 season, even without their ace, Gerrit Cole, who is recovering from a nerve injury in his elbow. Despite his absence, the rotation boasts four pitchers with ERAs under 3.00, demonstrating depth and quality.

Veteran Leadership and Stellar Performances

On Saturday, veteran Marcus Stroman contributed to this success by pitching six scoreless innings against the San Diego Padres, striking out five.

This season, Stroman has maintained a 2.76 ERA, with an 84.3% left-on-base rate and a 51.4% ground ball rate over 62 innings. His performance has solidified the Yankees’ decision to sign him to a two-year, $37 million deal, which includes a vesting option for 2026 and a player option if he pitches over 140 innings next season.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at New York Yankees
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Stroman was a strategic signing, chosen over Blake Snell, who sought a higher salary. This decision has paid dividends, contributing significant stability to the rotation.

Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes, both rebounding from injuries, have also been crucial. Rodon, with a 2.95 ERA over 61 innings, has shown remarkable improvement after a rough start to the season. Meanwhile, Cortes, despite the highest ERA in the rotation at 3.29, has stabilized, surrendering just one run over his last two outings.

Given the depth of talent, Cortes might transition to a bullpen role once Cole returns, ensuring the rotation remains robust.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees, nestor cortes
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Rising Stars in the Yankees’ Rotation

The Yankees’ two best pitchers have been their youngest in Luis Gil and Clarke Schmidt. Gil is only 25 years old and coming off Tommy John surgery, but he’s put together not just an All-Star caliber campaign to open the year but is in line for a potential Cy Young award.

Gil has pitched 55.1 innings, featuring a 2.11 ERA, 11.39 strikeouts per nine, an 81.4% left-on-base rate, and a 39.2% ground ball rate. He has given up just two earned runs over his last five starts, pitching a minimum of six innings in each game.

Schmidt, in only his second year as a starter, has also impressed, boasting a 2.59 ERA and reaching a career-high in strikeouts per nine over 55.2 innings.

With Gerrit Cole poised to return, the Yankees are luxuriously positioned but face tough decisions about who will make way in a five-man rotation that has excelled without their star pitcher. This scenario underscores the Yankees’ incredible pitching depth and the challenge of maintaining it without disrupting the team’s successful dynamics.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: