What can the Yankees expect from injured veteran pitcher once he returns from IL?

Jun 1, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Cody Poteet (72) throws a pitch against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have an embarrassment of riches in their pitching rotation this season. An injured performer of theirs could create a wanted problem for Yankees manager Aaron Boone once he returns.

Yankees standout right-hander Cody Poteet was off to a blistering start to his 2024 outing before going down with a right triceps strain and being placed on the 15-day IL on June 17. His injury directly coincided with reigning AL Cy Young award winner Gerrit Cole’s return to the lineup two days later on June 19.

Yankees: Cody Poteet looked strong in four starts in 2024

Jun 12, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA;  New York Yankees starting pitcher Cody Poteet (72) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

With Poteet slated to return as early as next week, the 29-year-old will have a lot to offer the Yankees once again. His pristine 2.14 ERA and 1.048 WHIP are career and team lows. Poteet has shown good control on the mound on the season. Areas for him to improve upon in a rehab stint once he recovers will be his fastball velocity, which has dipped from 94.6 mph in 2022 to 93 mph this season, and his ground ball percentage, which has regressed from 52.4 percent to 44.3 percent currently.

Upon his comeback, the four-year veteran will be part of a six-man rotation including Cole, Nestor Cortes, Marcus Stroman, Carlos Rodon, and Luis Gil.

Where will Poteet fit in the Yankees’ six-man pitching rotation upon return?

Jun 7, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Cody Poteet (72) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

All five of the aforementioned starters are playing lights out, but that does not mean that Poteet will be phased out of the lineup. Clarke Schmidt’s placement on the 60-day IL has freed up a spot for Poteet to show his stuff down the back stretch of the year. Had that not been the case, Poteet would be in the seventh slot with an uphill battle to climb to see time on the field on a regular basis.

Cole has only pitched eight innings in his two games back, and the Yankees could look to manage the workloads of some of their other arm talents especially as the season winds down, if they pull away in the standings. Not to mention, New York could look to trade one of their pitchers at the July 30 trade deadline, though unlikely.

Poteet has shown that he can be a valuable contributor for the Yankees. Having him at full strength will only benefit New York’s pursuit of a World Series later on this fall.

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