After trading away seven pitchers this off-season in exchange for Juan Soto, Alex Verdugo, and Trent Grisham, the Yankees will need a number of younger options to step up and fill those gaps.
Right off the bat, Will Warren and Chase Hampton are profiled as potential impact players, even if it means supporting the bullpen. However, one name to keep an eye on is Luis Gil, a 25-year-old recovering from Tommy John surgery who put together some encouraging numbers in the past. Back in 2021, Gil tossed 29.1 innings for the Yankees, hosting a 3.07 ERA and 11.66 strikeouts per nine.
Gil is a high-strikeout pitcher, throwing 33.1 total innings in the MLB with 11.61 strikeouts per nine and a 3.78 ERA. In fact, he went 15 2/3 scoreless innings to open his account in the bigs back in 2021, the most of any Yankee pitcher since 1961. Obviously, the injury derailed his momentum, and he’s been trying to work his way back ever since.
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The Yankees May Have a Gem in Luis Gil
However, it is important to note that he has a nasty fastball and a great slider that could be a perfect fit in the bullpen this upcoming season if not help as a starter.
Last year, he only tossed four innings in A-ball with Tampa, so he still needs to work up his innings count significantly and get back into the fold. Fortunately, Gil has a minor option left the Yankees utilize, starting him out with one of their affiliate teams and helping him gradually improve until he’s ready to make a full return at some point in 2024.
Reflecting on his 2021 advanced metrics, his fastball produced a .240 batting average against with a 27.9% whiff rate and 96.1 mph on average. His slider was tantalizing, averaging 85.2 mph with a .135 BA and 37.5% whiff rate. His slider is his primary strikeout pitch, utilizing a similar combination to Carlos Rodon.
His velocity and upside are certainly there, but the Yankees don’t necessarily have a ton of time to get maximum value, given his lone minor-league option. They need him to continue working his way back, but if he gets back to full strength and even offers a glimpse of what he achieved in 2021, the Yankees can feel confident he will support them out of the bullpen, if not fill a similar role to Jhony Brito.