When the New York Yankees pulled up at Luis Gil to face off against the Baltimore Orioles, nobody expected he would blank them over 6.0 innings. Tossing 88 pitches, Gil allowed four hits and struck out six batters in his MLB debut.
The Yankees scored 13 runs in his first outing, as Gill replaced All-Star Gerrit Cole, who was put on the COVID-19 injured list last week. At 23 years old, Gil has featured prominently in the minor-league system, making eight appearances for Triple-A Scranton.
During his time at Triple-A, Gil posted a 5.64 ERA, earning an 11.27 strike-out rate per nine. In his first professional outing, his fastball averaged 95.8 MPH, curating a 37.5% ground ball rate and nine strikeouts per nine.
The Yankees are preparing to take on the Seattle Mariners in the final game of a four-game series at 1:05 PM on Sunday afternoon. Gil will once again feature as the team’s primary starter, as his opposition hosts Yusei Kikuchi on the mound.
If Luis can string together another positive performance, he could find himself in the mix at the back end of the rotation. The Yankees are expecting both Luis Severino and Corey Kluber to make a return toward the end of August, potentially early September. While I canâ€™t imagine the team featuring Gil during a post-season game, they should continue to utilize him sparingly to help mitigate fatigue as the end of the regular season nears.
The Yankees are currently on a five-game winning streak, having emerged victorious in eight of their last nine games. In the AL East standings, the Bombers are 5.5 games back from the Tampa Bay Rays and 1.5 games back from the Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card race.
Fortunately, Boston has lost eight of their last 10 games but squeaked out a victory against Toronto on Saturday. Tampa, on the other hand, has won seven of their last nine, with two wins over the Orioles. It will be difficult to catch up to Tampa, meaning the Wild Card presents a better opportunity for the Yankees to earn a playoff spot.