Enduring yet another challenging stretch of the 2023 season, the New York Yankees have lost three out of their last four games.
Their offense is lackluster without their superstar slugger, Aaron Judge, and the starting pitching has been pushed to its limits.
In spite of Gerrit Cole’s solid performance against Boston on Friday night, the Yankees are grappling with significant issues in the rotation.
With a string of injuries beleaguering the team this year, there’s a suggestion that they may need to consider an acquisition before the trade deadline in a few weeks’ time.
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The Yankees confront significant problems in their starting pitching:
Before the Yankees announced that Nestor Cortés would be placed on the injured list due to a left rotator cuff strain, he was in the midst of one of his poorest seasons as a professional.
Over 59.1 innings pitched, Cortes holds a 5.16 ERA, a 4.99 xFIP, a 68.2% left-on-base rate, and a career-low 25.9% ground ball rate. A significant drop from his previous season’s 2.44 ERA suggests that Cortes is not in perfect health.
With Nestor sidelined, the Yankees are lacking one of their primary left-handed starters, leaving a noticeable gap in the middle of the rotation.
Even though Luis Severino made a promising start upon his return, his performance has since declined significantly.
At 29 years old, Severino has a 5.75 ERA, a 4.79 xFIP, and averages 7.97 strikeouts per nine innings with a 76.9% left-on-base rate. His career-low 39.7% ground ball rate and a career-high 25.9% HR/FB ratio are also of concern.
Severino is surrendering the highest number of home runs per nine innings in his career so far, with 13 earned runs over his first four starts. His last two starts saw him concede 11 earned runs and six home runs, figures which are alarmingly high.
If the Yankees can’t elicit an improved performance from Severino soon, they could face a troubling situation.
Unfortunately, Frankie Montas was sidelined for nearly the entirety of the 2023 season earlier in the year. Montas is recuperating from shoulder surgery, which had affected his performance in late 2022. His acquisition may go down as one of the Yankees’ most ill-advised in recent history, having traded one of their top pitching prospects for an injured player.
Despite the progress being made by Carlos Rodon, who is under a $162 million contract, he remains several weeks away from potentially rejoining the team. The 30-year-old signed a six-year deal in the last off-season, only to sustain a left forearm strain during spring training.
He has recently developed a chronic back issue, which raises questions about the Yankees’ medical evaluations and General Manager Brian Cashman’s rationale for his most recent acquisitions.
One might cynically suggest that the Yankees have a strange predilection for injured players, squandering resources and further complicating their quest for a first World Series in over a decade.