The Yankees come into 2021 with a rotation that is very different from last year, but how good can the new rotation be?
This past Sunday the Yankees acquired Pirates hurler, and former first-round pick Jameson Taillon. Following last year’s acquisition of Gerrit Cole, the signing marks the second time an impact starter, selected in the first round, made the trip from Pennsylvania to New York.
As we say farewell to our friend Masahiro Tanaka and welcome back Luis Severino and Corey Kluber from injuries, starting pitching, outside of Cole, is really a question mark going into the season for the first time in a while. As it currently stands, the starters would be Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Taillon, Jordan Montgomery, and Deivi Garcia. The bottom three guys are major question marks. Severino and Kluber are coming off Tommy John surgery and a shoulder injury respectively. Garcia had a solid rookie campaign in 2020, who knows how Boone’s decision to pull him for JA Happ in game two of last year’s ALDS will impact your starters’ confidence.
This means besides Cole, the Yankees will have Jordan Montgomery, two pitchers that missed last season, and a virtual rookie in Garcia. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw Domingo German at some point this season.
Given Taillon’s injury history and the young pitchers the Yankees have in the organization (Clarke Schmidt, Michael King, and even German) it definitely surprised me to see how much they gave up for the 29-year old righty. What doesn’t is that pitching was Cashman’s top priority this offseason (besides DJ of course).
On paper, this rotation has tremendous potential. However, there is also cause for concern with the injury history and in Garcia’s case, lack of experience. As long as the injury bug doesn’t bite us for the third year in a row, the New York Yankees should once again be fully equipped for the chase for 28.