Looking At The Yankees Starting Pitching For 2020
The Yankees pitching rotation should be a strength of this year’s team, but heading into spring training there is part of their rotation that is far from finalized. With the addition of Gerrit Cole and a fully healthy Luis Severino, they are essentially adding two aces to last year’s rotation. Masahiro Tanaka, if he stays on par with his past seasons, will be one of the best number three pitchers in the MLB. All of that is great, but the back half of the rotation is worrisome with the injury of James Paxton and suspension of Domingo Germán. There is a huge question mark on who will pitch in the 4th and 5th slots.
There are multiple candidates trying to fill in for Paxton and win the the 5th starters job. The leading candidate would be Jordan Montgomery. The southpaw is coming off Tommy John surgery and is looking to bounce back. Despite only pitching 30.1 innings over the last two years, he has shown great promise and tremendous upside. He finished 6th in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2017 when he had a 3.88 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. He was a highly touted pitching prospect in the Yanks farm system and is primed for a massive 2020 campaign.
J.A. Happ is also likely to get a chance in the 2020 starting rotation. He had been mentioned in trade rumors all off-season but with Paxton’s injury it appears Happ will be back in the Bronx for the upcoming season. Happ’s 2019 was frustrating to say the least. Happ, an established veteran headed into his age 36 season, struggled in 2019 with an ERA of almost 5.00. He gave up a career high 34 home runs, and 160 hits. The worst stat possibly is his hits per 9 innings, at a whopping 8.9 hits. Happ just two short years ago was an All Star and has something to prove in 2020. He’ll probably begin the season as the Yankees’ number four starter.
There is also a group that are more longshots, but Yankees fans could possibly see them in case of an injury or poor performance by Happ or Montgomery.
Johnathan Loaisiga, has bounced around from the starting rotation to the bullpen, but where he has spent most of his time is on the IL. The organization had high hopes for him in the starting rotation, but his health will likely make him more of a bullpen arm.
Luis Cessa, was mediocre for all of 2019. He was shaky as a starter but solid has a middle to long relief arm out of the pen. He struck out 8.3 batters per 9 innings with a 4.11 ERA. Cessa could be another potential option for the Bronx Bombers.
Lastly, the Yankees have a collection of young pitchers that will be in the big leagues potentially this year. Starting with Michael King who is 24 and can hit mid-90’s on his fastball with solid control on his breaking balls. He throws a four-seam, a change-up and a slider. He does not blow the ball by batters and isn’t a consistent swing and miss guy, but he is aggressive and pounds the zone.
Deivi Garcia, has been a highly awaited Yankees prospect looking to make his MLB debut this year. He is currently ranked #92 in MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects list. Garcia has a big league curveball that will be difficult for any batter to touch. It has an extremely high spin rate making it unhittable. He can hit between 95-98 on his fastball, but his problem is his control. He can be a bit wild, but when he’s hot he could be an ace of the future.
All in all, it promises to be an interesting year, as always.