The reverie of a rotation featuring Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, James Paxton, and Masahiro Tanaka was brought to a rude awakening by tweets and articles covering the losses the Yankees formidable rotation was taking to begin the season.
James Paxton is the only Yankees’ starter to finish with an ERA below 4.00 last season and he’s been recovering from a cyst-removal surgery and should be ready to go by late April or early May.
Domingo German showed a lot of promise last season, going 18-4 in 24 starts with a 4.03 ERA. Toward the end of the season, he was handed down an 81 game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy due to domestic violence allegations. Fangraphs Depth Chart has German projected to pitch in 108 innings this season. Coming in mid-season is never an easy task in the Major Leagues.
The Yankees are currently looking at Jordan Montgomery as their probable fourth starter and the fifth spot likely going to Jonathan Loaisiga and his 4.79 career ERA. It’s not terrible but it’s certainly not what the Yankees envisioned when they signed Gerrit Cole. At this point, they have to thankful they have last year’s AL Cy Young runner-up and that he’s healthy.
The Yankees have to be concerned with the standing of their current pitching staff. They hope Cole lives up to his contract and Paxton returns in mid-season form. Even outside of that, it’s hard to stack up against the Rays loaded rotation.