Will This Be the New York Yankees 2022 Pitching Rotation?
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone has a ton of time to think about his pitching rotation these days. One problem is, he doesn't know who is doing well coming off of injuries and who is not. Nor does he know who general manager Brian Cashman will be able to add via trade or free agency. As the players are locked out of team facilities, communication between organizational staff and their players is supposed to be non-existent. From everything that I can gather, that is true. So, let's give the manager some help and design a realistic starting five to take the Bombers back to the World Series.
#1 Gerrit Cole. No surprise here. The tall righty battled his way through the 'spider tack' scandal to end up 16-8 with a 3.23 ERA. Despite falling short with a 2 inning sub-par appearance in the American League Wild Card game, Cole finished second in the AL Cy Young Voting.
#2 Luis Severino. Yes, this may be a stretch but Severino has hardly pitched since his 19-8 season in 2018 due to Tommy John surgery and then hamstring injuries. Severino is only 27 and has loads of talent. This will be a great year for him.
#3 After the lockout ends, Yankees general manager goes out and signs free agent left hander, Carlos Rodón from the White Sox. Rodón, 29 years old, went 13-5 last year for Chicago and would solidify the middle of the Pinstripes' rotation for the next few years.
#4 The next Yankee starter could legitimately be a #2 or #3 in many MLB rotations. Jameson Taillon pitched well in the Bronx last season. When nobody in the Yankees rotation was healthy, Taillon was out there game after game. Taillon had offseason surgery to repair the partially torn tendon in his right ankle. He should be good to go by Spring Training according to reports.
#5 There may be a lot to choose from for this spot for Aaron Boone but the way injuries go, who knows? Jordan Montgomery, Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia are all working hard this winter to try to recapture a spot in this rotation. However, I see 23 year old Luis Gil taking the ball in the #5 spot. He struck out 38 batters in 29 big league innings last year, in huge situations for the Yankees. I see him getting better in 2022.
That is a pretty solid starting 5, especially if the Yankees offense delivers the way it was built to do. One good thing is with Schmidt, Montgomery and Garcia, you have some depth, even before Cashman adds some arms via free agency, which he will. We'll figure out the Yankees bullpen in the weeks to come. If you have trade or free agency ideas, send them to me on Twitter @charlievoelker.