When reports came out indicating that New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman would be diving into the deep end of the starting pitching pool at the trade deadline, most were confused. Considering the Yankees rotation has been elite this year, acquiring a top-end pitcher isn’t entirely necessary.
However, Cashman is looking 10 steps ahead, especially as the rotation seems to be going through a bout of fatigue.
Recently, Nestor Cortes, Jameson Taillon, and Jordan Montgomery have all seen steep drop-offs in efficiency.
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The Yankees may have a problem brewing:
In the month of June, Cortes has recorded a 4.15 ERA, giving up 12 earned runs and 26 hits over 26 innings pitched. Previously, he had been one of the best starters in baseball, but one poor month shouldn’t ruin that momentum.
Opposing teams are starting to get a grasp on Cortes’s stuff, which has hurt his confidence. There’s also a concern that fatigue could be settling in. Nestor has only pitched over 70 innings once in his career. Last season, he pitched 93 innings and is already up to 79 this season. He’s prepared to smash that personal record, but it takes time to adjust to that level of usage.
Jameson Taillon, on the other hand, recorded a 4.59 ERA in the month of June, giving up 17 earned runs and 40 hits over 33.1 innings pitched. Previously, he had also been stellar to start the season, but increased usage has begun to rear its ugly head.
Jordan Montgomery has also struggled to a degree, posting a 3.66 ERA over 32 innings in June. He’s given up 13 earned runs and 28 hits over his last five appearances. Most recently against the Oakland Athletics, one of the worst teams in baseball, he gave up five earned runs and six hits over 6.2 innings. In fact, over his last two starts combined, he’s giving up 9 hits over 12.2 innings.
The Yankees can still rely on their ace:
Luckily, ace Gerrit Cole has consistently gotten better as the season has progressed. This past month, he recorded a 2.73 ERA over 29.2 innings pitched. He’s given up just three earned runs in his last three combined starts, two of which he’s gone over 7.0 innings.
Clearly, experience is starting to show its value with Cole, but the rest of the rotation could use a lengthy rest. Hopefully, the All-Star break will provide them the time necessary to rehabilitate and get their arms ready for the second half of the 2022 campaign.
However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cashman made a big push for a starter like Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo or Oakland’s Frankie Montas.