Yankees’ starting pitching rotation earns surprisingly impressive grades via Fangraphs

yankees, gerrit cole

All the New York Yankee post-season news has been centered around picking up that star shortstop to fill the gap from the failed experiment with Gleyber Torres. Still, General Manager Brian Cashman has been vocal about acquiring a one-two punch in the pitching rotation that is now missing with the departure of 2 times Cy Young Award-winning Corey Kluber.

Cashman has done next to nothing to accomplish the needs of the club before MLB instituted the CBA lock-out.

Fangraphs has issued their projected WAR for MLB’s pitching rotations, and it shows that if the Yankees fail to upgrade the rotation for the new season, they still come in with the 8th best rotation in baseball.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, their cross-town rival New York Mets come in at number one on the list. However, with the acquisition of Max Scherzer, they now have two bonafide aces leading their pitching staff. Jacob deGrom and Scherzer should give them the edge in the NL East.

The Mets’ rotation looks like this: deGrom, Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, and David Peterson. Marcus Stroman is presently a free agent. This Mets lineup is a game-changer in the National League.

Meanwhile, the New York Yankees have one of the best pitchers in the game leading their lineup with Gerrit Cole. But they lack that one-two punch they will need if they reach the post-season. Cashman knows that at the end of the CBA lock-out, he will be actively looking for that missing piece, as evidenced by his try for 2 time Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander. Verlander ended staying with the Astros.


1.) Gerrit Cole will lead the lineup and be the opening day starter. Cole last year was 16-8 in 30 starts with an ERA of 3.23. His record should have been much better, but he got poor support with the poor hitting 2021 Yankees. The Yankees only scored 3.03 runs per innings he pitched.


2.) Number two for the Yankees at this point will be Luis Severino. Yes, Severino will be a question mark, not pitching an entire season since 2018. Severino, if he can come back to his 2018 from can be that number two man. In 2018 he was 19-8. In a few games in 2019, he had an ERA of 1.50. He didn’t pitch at all in the shortened 2020 season. Last season after coming off rehab, he threw four games with a perfect .000 ERA.


3.) Jordan Montgomery: Monty had the second-best WAR after Cole. Last season, he went 6-7 with an ERA of 3.83. Montgomery was the bad luck kid for the Yankees last year, getting the least run support of any pitcher. He had over a half dozen of his starts with absolutely no run support and another six games with less than two runs of support.


4.) Jameson Taillon: As the 2021 season progressed, Taillon found his form that made him a star pitcher with the Pirates. Taillon was 8-6 in 29 starts with an ERA of 4.30. He pitched much better in the second half than the stats would suggest. He, like other Yankees pitchers, would have liked better run support.


5.) Nestor Cortes Jr.: Cortes Jr. turned out to be the pitching story of the 2021 season, replacing Kluber for three months. Cortes Jr. pitched in 22 games for the Yankees going 2-3 with a tiny 2.90 ERA in his 14 starts. Without a blazing fastball, Cortes confused hitters with his never-know-what’s-coming pitching style and delivery.

The Yankees, in addition to this starting rotation, have some other qualified pitchers in the bank, including Domingo German, who can be dominating at times, Luis Gil, and Clarke Schmidt. But make no mistake about it, Cashman will be looking to improve the starting rotation.

Interestingly, according to Fangraphs, none of the Yankees East rivals came in ahead of them as far as the pitching rotation is concerned. The Toronto Blue Jays came in two positions behind the Yankees at number ten. However, they have Jose Berrios, newly acquired Kevin Gausman, and Hyun Jin Ryu leading their rotation.   

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