Yankees’ starter acknowledges that staff ‘needs to get better’

Andres Chavez

The New York Yankees made important commitments to pitchers Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon during the offseason. The former required a one-year, $11 million contract to sign, and the latter was the result of a trade in which the Bombers gave away important prospect capital, most notably hurler Miguel Yajure.

They also needed Domingo German to return to his 2019 levels, after being suspended for the whole 2020 season. So far, the trio hasn’t been able to perform on the mound.

Only Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery have pitched well among members of the Yankees’ rotation. The former has a 1.47 ERA, a 41.4 strikeout rate and a minuscule 4.3 walk rate in 18.1 innings, while the lefty has a 3.27 ERA in 11 frames.

Three Yankees’ starters need to pick it up

Kluber, on the other hand, hasn’t found his command and has struggled to a 5.68 ERA, while Taillon has been worse, at 7.56 in 8.1 frames. German has allowed seven earned runs in seven innings.

“The good thing about this group is that we’re all pretty self-aware,” Taillon said. “We know what we need to get better at. I think the adjustments will be made, but right now we’re not getting deep enough into games. We’re not getting it done. We need to start picking it up, and I think we will.”

Taillon lost Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays, as he conceded five runs in 3 2/3 innings. The season is extremely young, however, and neither he nor the Yankees are particularly worried at this point of the year. But it’s clear that s far, it has been a struggle.

“There were a lot of two-strike situations where [Taillon] wasn’t able to finish guys off,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone told MLB.com. “I thought his stuff ticked up and I thought his fastball up was really playing, but some two-strike walks … it seemed like a lot of the damage was done with two strikes.”