The Yankees will look to make it to the World Series for the first time in 14 years in 2023, but does the team from The Bronx have enough to get over the hump? It was a strong, but inconsistent year for the Yankees rotation last season, thanks to injuries and a drop in production from the team’s marquee acquisition at the Trade Deadline. So, what could the Yankees rotation look like this year? Let’s take a look.
A Look at the Yankees Rotation Options
- RHP Gerrit Cole (13-8, 3.50 ERA, 11.5 K/9 in 2022)
- LHP Carlos Rodón (14-8, 2.88 ERA, 12.0 K/9)
- LHP Nestor Cortes Jr. (12-4, 2.44 ERA, 9.3 K/9)
- RHP Luis Severino (7-3, 3.18 ERA, 9.9 K/9)
- RHP Frankie Montas (5-12, 4.05 ERA, 7.5 K/9)/RHP Domingo German (2-5, 3.61 ERA, 7.2 K/9)
The Yankees rotation is set to look somewhat different in 2023, given that RHP Jameson Taillon joined the Cubs this past winter on a multi-year deal. New York did replace Taillon in the offseason, with star left-hander Carlos Rodón. Rodón dominated hitters last season, as the lefty struck out 237 over 178 innings a total that ranked second in the NL and third in all of MLB in 2022. Health, a jump in velocity, and a wipeout slider have been key to Rodón’s success over the last two seasons. Now, Rodón is set to join the incumbent Yankees ace, Gerrit Cole.
Cole led all pitchers in the Majors last season in total strikeouts (257), thanks to a hard fastball, plus slider, and a solid curveball that proved to be a good change of pace offering. The 32-year-old did demonstrate good control and above-average BB% rates yet again, but some of his pitches saw too much plate. The Yankees ace — who gave up the second-most home runs (33) in baseball last year — gave up four more home runs on his slider in 2022 from ’21, and three more on fastballs.
Nestor Cortes Jr. proved that his strong 2021 campaign wasn’t a fluke, as the lefty finished eighth in the AL Cy Young award voting this past fall. Cortes struck out 163 over 158.1 innings, and recorded sparkling a 2.44 ERA & .92 WHIP in the process. “Nasty Nestor” did sustain a hamstring strain just before the start of Spring Training, but should be back for the start of the regular season.
Luis Severino found his way back to the mound on a regular basis in 2022, and looked sharp in the process. Severino struck out 112 over 102 innings, and won seven games for the Yankees. The right-hander did deal with a series of injuries again in 2022, including a lat strain. The presence of Severino makes the Yankees rotation much more formidable, but health will be critical.
As far as the fifth spot is concerned, it’s highly likely that Domingo German will get the first shot in the Yankees rotation. Frankie Montas — who recorded a 6.35 ERA in 39.2 innings in The Bronx — is expected to miss the first month of the season due to a shoulder injury. Once Montas returns, the Yankees will see if the righty can get back on track in 2023.
The AL East is filled with strong pitching staffs. The Rays have a stacked group of young starters, while the Jays rotation includes a couple of aces. But provided that the likes of Cole, Rodón, and Cortes can stay healthy, the Yankees may very well be the best of the bunch.