Yankees facing grueling rotation decision upon Gerrit Cole’s return

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

Carlos Rodon’s ERA is 2.95 as of Wednesday morning. Marcus Stroman’s is at 2.76, while Clarke Schmidt has been amazing with a 2.52 mark. Luis Gil, the fifth starter and early-season replacement for the injured Gerrit Cole, is sporting a sublime 2.11 ERA, and Nestor Cortes, the “worst” of the bunch, has a 3.30 mark. That, ladies and gentlemen, is your New York Yankees rotation.

This Yankees pitching rotation is one of the best in recent memory

MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees, nestor cortes
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It’s still too early to compare this unit with others in recent Yankees history, but common sense is enough to tell us that if there was a comparison, the 2024 group would probably win. All five guys have been amazing, but there is one problem on the way. A good one, at least: Cole should be back in a few weeks, as he is closing in on a rehab assignment.

And no, you don’t keep the reigning AL Cy Young award winner out of the rotation. You have to find a way to include him, but how? How will the Yankees tell one of the five aforementioned pitchers that he will lose his spot after having such a fantastic performance?

Would the Yankees be willing to try different alternatives?

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
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It’s certainly a tough decision for Brian Cashman, Aaron Boone, Matt Blake, and everybody involved in it. There might be other alternatives such as a six-man rotation, but the concept would imply altering the pitcher’s routines and that’s never a good thing. There is a reason why many pitchers are against the idea.

Even with Cole’s injury, the Yankees have had good luck with injuries to their starting rotation this season. That’s how they all got into a god rhythm and that’s why they are all producing excellent results. Perhaps an injury to one of the current starters later down the road renders this whole conversation moot, but for now, the Yanks have a problem in their hands.

You can be sure it’s a problem that most executives, managers and pitching coaches would love to have.

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