The New York Yankees started the 2022 season with major inconsistencies regarding their starting pitching rotation, but things are starting to pick up in a positive way. On Friday against the Cleveland Guardians, the Yankees featured Jameson Taillon on the mound, who enjoyed his best performance of the season by far.
Taillon lasted 5.0 innings, tossing 84 pitches and allowing one earned run over seven hits. He also struck out five batters. The only run he allowed was a solo homer but managed to work his way out of trouble on a number of occasions, showcasing resilience and progress.
Last season, Taillon struggled with his consistency, but at 100% health, he’s a dangerous mid-rotation pitcher. Strangely, Gerrit Cole has been the rotation’s weakest link through 14 games.
However, the Bombers have plenty of depth in case they need to supplement any starters down the road. Michael King, who indicated he had a terrible bullpen session in the win over Cleveland, had one of the best outings of his career. Over 3.0 innings, King posted eight strikeouts and one hit.
“It was actually weird. I felt terrible in my pregame bullpen,” King said. “Could not throw a strike. And then I go out there and it’s 3-0. And I was like: Uh oh, here we go. And then, I don’t know, it just clicked. And it felt good after that. So maybe I got to have more bad bullpens.”
Manager Aaron Boone indicated that King isn’t going to earn a start anytime soon, but in the scenario, they need him to step up and fill a void, he’s more than capable.
“The book is certainly not closed on that and certainly like he would be capable of that,” the manager said, “but in the here and now, just kind of focused on this kind of hybrid role that’s so valuable for us.”
Over the past three games, the Yankees’ starters have given up two total runs over 16.0 innings of play. It’s quite obvious they’re gaining steam, increasing their pitch count with every start, and holding the opposition to minimal production.
Now, it’s up to the offense to get going, having started the year in terrible form. If not for Aaron Judge launching two homers in the win on Friday, the Yanks might’ve had a more difficult time against the Guardians.