There are concerns regarding the New York Yankees’ starting pitching rotation as opening day nears on April 7. General manager Brian Cashman has done very little to inject more talent into the rotation via regency or trade this off-season. While the team has been connected to the Oakland Athletics, who were shopping Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas, nothing has materialized up to this point.
It seems as if Cashman will leave the rotation alone for now, hoping several injury-prone players prove their consistency this year, which is an extremely risky approach.
According to MLB Network’s Meredith Marakovits, the Yankees’ projected 2022 starting rotation come the regular season is:
1.) Gerrit Cole
Cole is the team’s ace without question, recording a 3.23 ERA last season over 30 games and 181.1 innings. This was his worst campaign since 2017 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but he was still dominant and is gearing up for another stellar year.
2.) Luis Severino
Severino has only pitched 18 innings in the past three years, making him a serious liability. Severino hosts a 17.18 ERA this spring over two games, giving up eight hits and one homer in 3.2 innings pitched.
Considering Severino is projected to be the team’s No. 2 starter, it is a clear indication of management’s optimism he can return to his previous self. The last time Severino hosted a dominant campaign was back in 2018, but that was a long time ago, and the once-promising starting pitcher has been dealt a number of serious injury blows.
While Severino has shown flashes of good velocity and pitch efficiency, his execution has been poor this spring, meaning he needs a bit more time to find his rhythm. Unfortunately, he suffered a bit of soreness after his last start, so the Yankees will err on the side of caution and have him throw a bullpen session instead of starting against the Blue Jays.
3.) Jordan Montgomery
In the No. 3 slot, the Yankees have Jordan Montgomery, who posted a 3.83 ERA last season over 157.1 innings. Montgomery is the team’s lone left-handed starter, and at 29 years old, he could be gearing up for his best year yet. Last season, Montgomery averaged a 92.7 mph fastball, the best of his career. He mixed in a cutter 13.8% of the time, up from 5.4% in 2020.
4.) Jameson Taillon
When the Yankees acquired Jamison Taillon from the Pirates, they imagined he would be a perfect one-two punch behind Cole.
Cole and Taillon are good friends, but the latter of the two struggled to find his groove wearing pinstripes. Last year, Taillon battled a number of injuries, ranging from shoulder inflammation to torn ligaments in his ankle. He still managed a 4.30 ERA over 144.1 innings, but the Yankees need more from him as he prepares to hit free agency after the 2022 campaign.