As the 2019 season continues for the Yankees, the rotation is starting to look pretty good. But who has the highest grades so far?
We are just about one month into the season, as of today the Yankees are 15-11 and sit just 1.5 games behind Tampa for first. One of the biggest questions for the Yankees coming into the season was the starting rotation, but early on it seems like it has become one of its strengths. Here is a super early grading of each starter.
Domingo German (A+)
If I told you that a month into the season Domingo German would be the Yankees best starting pitcher you would have laughed in my face. Domingo has been nothing short of dominant this season. As of his last start, Domingo is 4-1 with a 1.75 ERA and 28 Ks in 25.2 innings. Domingo sits in eight places in all of baseball in terms of ERA, second place in BAA (.143) and second in WHIP( 0.82).
If Domingo continues to pitch the way he is, then this team becomes even more deadly.
James Paxton (A-)
We all knew what we were going to get when the Yankees acquired Paxton during the offseason. But somehow he showed us even more. His first 2 starts were ok, his third start was terrible when he was tipping pitches. But after a quick film room session with Carlos Beltran, Paxton showed us what he was made of.
He earned his pinstripes in the best way possible, completely shutting down the Boston Redsoxs with one of the most dominant starts I have ever seen. In that game, Paxton went eight innings, allowed only 2 hits and punched out 12 batters. Overall Paxton has been very good this year and as of his last start, he is 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA. He has punched out 51 batters in 34.2 innings. That puts him in 3rd place in all of baseball.
Masahiro Tanaka (B)
Since they signed him out of Japan, Tanaka has always been one of the Yankees most consistent pitchers and this year is no different. Tanaka has been very solid this year and as of his last start, he is 2-2 with 3.60 ERA and has 30 Ks in 35 innings.
While Tanaka has struggled with the long ball in his last couple of starts he almost always keeps the team in the game. You know when he has the ball he is going to give you a great chance to win the game.
CC Sabathia (B)
He is the stopper, the heart and sole of the Yankees pitching staff. He is the man that almost died and has come back to pitch one more year before calling it a career. He is CC Sabathia and has been nothing short of great for the Yankees this year. As of his last start, CC is 1-0 with a 2.40 ERA, he has 11 Ks in 15 innings and is just 3 Ks away from 3000. There is only one way to send C.C. out and that is to win it all for him.
Happ has been the worst pitcher on the staff so far this year. His first couple of starts were awful as he always seemed to be giving up home runs to start the game. But it was against Boston after giving up two homers that he had seemed to find himself again and since then he has looked like the pitcher we got when we traded for him last year.
As of his last start, Happ is 0-2 with a 5.96 ERA and has struck out 22 batters in 25.2 innings. While it might seem bad, Happ has looked really good since that Boston start. If the Yankees can get the real Happ back then the rotation could become one of the leagues best.