Yankees’ pitching staff could feature 2 new youngsters to open the season

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

As we quickly approach the end of spring training, the New York Yankees still have a few more roster cuts to make. As they iron out the pitching corps and make a few more reassignments to the minor leagues, two pitchers are eyeing big league roster spots, and according to manager Aaron Boone, both of them could make it.

Friday’s game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa will feature both Luis Gil and Will Warren as the primary pitchers. Gil will get the start, with Warren coming off an appearance several days ago. He ran into some trouble but showcased solid resiliency and only gave up two earned runs.

The Yankees Have Seen Plenty of Good from Warren

The 24-year-old has tossed 10.1 innings this spring, posting a 4.35 ERA, 11.32 strikeouts per nine, a 54.2% left-on-base rate, and a 51.5% ground ball rate. His best performance came against the Baltimore Orioles on March 11, tossing three innings and giving up just one earned run with two strikeouts. Warren has been developing his pitch mix over the past few seasons but has struggled against left-handed batters, where he’s introduced a cutter to help improve his metrics.

Last season, Warren spent 29.1 innings in AA and 99.2 innings in AAA. With Scranton, he made 21 appearances, hosting a 3.61 ERA with a 52.7% ground ball rate. His ability to generate weak contact on the ground bodes well for Yankee Stadium and is a primary reason the Yankees are likely to give him an opportunity in the bigs this upcoming campaign

Another solid performance on Friday would go a long way toward cementing himself on the active roster, but Gil also has a chance to support the team out of the bullpen, if not feature as a starter.

The 25-year-old made his MLB debut back in 2021, pitching 29.1 innings with the Yankees. He may not be necessarily new, but he certainly hasn’t been a primary piece over the past few seasons since that initial impact. He posted a 3.07 ERA over that sample three years ago, suffering an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.

Gil tossed only four innings with Low-A Tampa last season, but over 11.2 innings this spring, he has a 2.31 ERA with 13.89 strikeouts per nine, a 96.8% left-on-base rate, and a 31.8% ground ball rate. In other words, Gil has been electric, and his velocity is returning to normal ranges, above 96 mph.

Both Warren and Gil could be utilized in a variety of different ways, but the Yankees may go with the hot hand to help supplement the loss of Gerrit Cole at the back end of the rotation.

Cole is expected to return in a few months, but the Yankees will take a cautious approach with his rehab, so they will have to lean on some of their youngsters to get the job done. Instead of paying a free-agent star or trading for a top pitcher, it seems as if the front office wants to dip into their talent pool in the minors to help supplement injuries.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: