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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Cortes or Cole?

by Paul Semendinger

October 2, 2022

***


The big question that we'll all be wondering until the Game One starter of the American League Division Series is announced is, "Who will it be?"


The question comes down to who deserves the start more, the big money big name pitcher (Gerrit Cole) or the better pitcher in 2022 (Nestor Cortes).


Last year, Gerrit Cole got the playoff start. There were some at the time (I was not one of them) that argued that Nestor Cortes, who had come out of nowhere, should start Game One.


Last year, Cole came off his best season as a Yankee. He was the "Ace." There was no question about who the team's top pitcher was. Last year, a lot of people assumed that Cortes' stats were fluky. Some might have argued that they were a mirage. How did he get that good? (Again, to be fair and clear, I was not a believer.)


When one looked at their stats, an argument could have been made that Cortes, in many fewer innings (Cole pitched 181, Cortes just 93), was as good as Cole was.


Looking closer, one could have even argued that in the second half of the season last year that Cortes was the better pitcher.

The only areas where Cole was better was in wins and strikeouts. Nestor Cortes, in 12 starts, just as Cole had, had a better WHIP and a better ERA. And, while his strikeout rate was lower, a 9.6 strikeout rate per nine innings is still very very good.


Still, as noted, Cole was the big money pitcher and Cortes was the novelty. Cortes was probably the better pitcher, but the logical decision, all things being equal, was to go to Cole. And that's what the Yankees did.


Cole got the start, didn't do well, and winter came early for the Yankees.


Now, a year later, they have to make a similar choice. The Yankees have to decide who should start Game One (and be the pitcher most ready for a second start in a playoff round or World Series should a series go that far)?


This year, there is no question who has been the better pitcher.

Nestor Cortes is no longer a novelty. He is no longer a pitcher who came out of nowhere and did well for a short period. He has out pitched Gerrit Cole this season. But not only that, he's out pitched Gerrit Cole for the last season and a half.


One might note that since "sticky stuff" was outlawed, the clear ace of the Yankees' pitching staff has been Nifty Nestor.


But, if one were to look even closer, the case becomes even more clear. In the second half of 2022, Nestor Cortes stands even taller as the better pitcher.

Breaking it down even further, Cortes has pitched great in September, and, again, he did better than Cole.

To sum it all up, Nestor Cortes has been the better pitcher in September 2022. Cortes has been the better pitcher in the second half of 2022. He has been the better pitcher for the entire season of 2022. And since the All-Star game in 2021, he's also been the better pitcher.


Now the question is, will the Yankees make the right call and use their best starting pitcher, Nestor Cortes, in Game One, or will they defer to Gerrit Cole's veteran "leadership" or his "ace status" or whatever?


This isn't a difficult decision to make if one looks at the numbers. The better pitcher is Nestor Cortes. That means that the pitcher who will gave the Yankees the best chance to win will be Nestor Cortes.


What the Yankees do in this decision will go a long way toward determining how this post season plays out.


The choice is simple - Give the ball to Nestor. I want him in Game One and then as often as he can pitch throughout the postseason. He is the true ace. He's the best starting pitcher the Yankees have.





14件のコメント


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
2022年10月02日

Remember also there are off days after Games One and Two, and none between Four and Five. Thus, Game One starter can pitch 4 on regular rest, but the Two starter would have to go on short rest. I assume no one wants to have to pitch Game Five with a fourth starter. Some considerations: A) I don't know who I want lined up for Game Five on short rest, the power pitcher or the crafty one. B) There is a legitimate theory that going power-righty/finesse-lefty/power-righty in the first three games is most likely to throw off opponents' timing. C) Cole is not right in the head. He melts down way too easily when some little thing goes "w…

いいね!

Len
Len
2022年10月02日

If we are looking for the Yankees to do the sensible thing, we will be disappointed.

いいね!

Cary Greene
Cary Greene
2022年10月02日

What's being missed here is situational awareness. It's not about who's necessarily better. The Yankees need to do what's necessary to win based on who they're playing against.


Starting Cole or Cortes first would seem to depend upon the matchup, not which pitcher is necessarily better. The Twins are 19th in the League against lefties and 7th against righties. Meanwhile, the Mariners are 23rd against lefties and 27th against righties. Put simply, if the Yankees play the Twins first, Cortes should obviously start. The Twins are hitting .325 with a 1.211 OPS this year off Cole in (2) starts. What manager in their right mind would lead with Cole against the Twins??? Cortes has done much better against the dynamic…


いいね!
Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
2022年10月02日
返信先

The Twins have been eliminated and for quite a while now. The potential ALDS opponents are the Guardians and, most likely, either the Mariners or Rays (the Rays are 2 GB of the Mariners, and whichever one finishes last faces Cleveland). The Rays own the tiebreaker with Seattle, so Seattle's magic number to make the Rays the last WC is 3. So the most likely opponent in the ALDS for the Yankees is either Cleveland or Tampa Bay.

いいね!

Mike Whiteman
2022年10月02日

Another factor in the calculation is that there will be a gap between the Yanks last regular season game and Game One of the ALDS, and I would not be surprised to see the bats come out cold. Gotta go with the pitcher who has allowed two or fewer runs in 75% of his starts - Nestor. You don't want to fall behind in a five-game series if at all possible.


The intrigue emerges if they reach the ALCS. Joe Torre once stated he placed significance on the #3 starter, as that would give the Yanks the advantage if they won both or split the first two games, and a good crisis option if they lost the first two. This…

いいね!
Mike Whiteman
2022年10月02日
返信先

This first series is what I'm anxious about. I think they have the pieces to go blow for blow with the Astros should they meet in a seven-game series. Put the foot on the gas from the beginning. Cleveland, Toronto, Tampa and Seattle are good but not perfect teams, but if you give them an opening in a short series, anything can happen. Keep in mind that likely top of their rotation would come around mid-series after playing the Wild Card round. Don't want to fall behind and then see someone like Manoah or Robbie Ray.

いいね!

etbkarate
2022年10月02日

It should be a slam dunk. Nestor is the ACE of this team, Cole is not an ace. He is HR prone, and frankly, I think he is soft in big moments. I'd take Cortes 10 our of 10 times over Cole regardless of how much money Cashman and Hal pay him, Cortes is a better pitcher.

いいね!
Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
2022年10月02日
返信先

100%

いいね!
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