Yankees’ starting rotation is set going into the 2024 season

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at New York Yankees

The New York Yankees are heading into the 2024 regular season without their Ace Gerrit Cole, which significantly hampers their starting rotation, but they have a few solid pitchers that will look to pick up the slack.

With Marcus Stroman refusing to pitch on opening day to maintain his cycle, the Yankees will feature Nestor Cortes as the number one. Still, things are about to get real for everyone in the unit, even if that means a bad sendoff from spring training, as Carlos Rodon experienced in his last appearance.

Yankees’ Starting Rotation:

1.) Nestor Cortes

Cortes is bouncing back from a rotator cuff strain last season that ended his year prematurely. The 29-year-old has pitched 14 innings this spring, hosting a 7.71 ERA, including 10.29 strikeouts per nine, a 65.8% left-on-base rate, and a 35.4% ground ball rate.

Cortes had a few decent performances, notably four innings pitched against Detroit that included one earned run and three strikeouts. However, he gave up nine earned runs over the final 7.1 innings of spring ball, suggesting he still needs some time to ramp up.

Nestor is looking to repeat his 2022 season, when he made his first All-Star appearance, pitching 158.1 innings and recording a 2.44 ERA.

2.) Carlos Rodon

Rodon is coming off arguably his worst season as a professional in 2023. He tossed only 64.1 innings, hosting a 6.85 ERA with a 60.5% left-on-base rate and 27.1% ground ball rate. He gave up the most home runs per night in his career at 2.10, and his walks per nine also increased to 3.92, which is his highest since 2019.

After giving him $162 million over six years, the Yankees are hoping they can get maximum value out of the veteran lefty, but he’s also struggled this spring, giving up four earned runs in four innings against the Philadelphia Phillies this past weekend.

3.) Marcus Stroman

Marcus Stroman may be the team’s best pitcher with Cole out of the equation for now. Last season, the 32-year-old posted a 3.95 ERA over 136.2 innings, but a pelvis injury derailed his numbers toward the end of the year.

This spring, Stroman has pitched 20.2 innings, hosting a 2.61 ERA, including a 70.8% left-on-base rate and 47.5% ground ball rate. in fact, he gave up zero earned runs and struck out five batters in six innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday afternoon.

The Yankees are excited about Stroman’s efficiency this spring, and he should be a key component in the rotation to open the year.

4.) Clarke Schmidt

The Yankees simply need more out of Clarke Schmidt as a starter in his sophomore season. Now 28 years old, Schmidt posted a 4.64 ERA last season over a career-high 159 innings. He’s been utilizing a cutter more frequently and trying to boost his strikeout numbers.

Over 12 innings this spring, Schmidt has struck out 9.75 batters per nine with a 4.50 ERA. He’s not giving up many homers, and his walks per nine are down, suggesting he is trending in the right direction. Before giving up four earned runs against Atlanta on March 10, he had only given up one earned run over six innings to open the spring. He finished off March tossing 3.1 innings and giving up one earned run with five strikeouts against Pittsburgh 10 days ago. He should be healthy and ready to go for the regular season, and he’s trending in a better direction.

5.) Luis Gil

The Yankees chose Luis Gil over Will Warren to be the team’s primary number-five starter. The 25-year-old has been excellent this spring, tossing 15.2 innings and recording a 2.87 ERA.

The Yankees have no innings limitations on Gil, despite only tossing four innings last season coming off Tommy John surgery. His velocity looks sharp, and his strikeouts are up, suggesting he is a great bounce-back candidate and could be an impact piece for the Bombers if he can stay healthy.

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