The Yankees have continued their surge despite the loss of two starts apiece by two rotation mainstays. Their return is imminent – whew!
Couples with injuries to Gio Urshela (hamstring), Gleyber Torres (thumb), and Clint Frazier (eye), Yankees manager Aaron Boone has had no choice but to get creative in drawing up a competitive lineup.
Replacing position players, while taxing is much easier than replacing starting pitchers, especially when they have names like Gerrit Cole (10-6, 3.11, with 176 strikeouts in 131 innings), and Jordan Montgomery, who has a very deceiving 4-5, 3.76 ERA record as a victim of little run support from the Yankees’ bats.
Yankees: Edging Closer To Full Strength
According to several reports, though, including one from the New York Daily News, both Cole and Montgomery may rejoin the Yankees in Chicago, and Boone has an optimistic outlook that could see them both in action in a matter of days.
“They’ll probably rejoin us on the road and hopefully throw a bullpen at some point this weekend,” Yankee manager Aaron Boone said. “And then we’ll kind of evaluate along with them where they are and as far as when we insert them back in.”
Cole, the veteran, and former Cy Young winner, will likely be given Boone’s good length of rope to write his own path back. At the same time, Montgomery will be monitored more closely, especially because he missed all of the 2019 season with Tommy John surgery and was limited to 44 innings in the abbreviated 2020 season.
More encouraging news came to the Yankees starting pitcher, and two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber made his first rehab start with the Somerset Patriots on Thursday night.
In his first outing facing live batters since May 26, Kluber was not impressive, throwing 45 pitches, 20 for strikes, against the Portland Sea Dogs. He pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowed five runs on two hits, walked four, struck out one, and hit two batters.
Kluber, who has been through this before, told centralnewjersey.com following his outing:
“I think I can be encouraged in the way that I felt physically while I was out there. I didn’t have any issues with that. I didn’t have any issues after the fact, so results-wise, as I said, I would have liked to do better, but at the same time, that’s not necessarily the main goal of coming into today, so I’m not going to put a whole lot of stock in that.”
Oddly, when Cole Montgomery and Kluber return, Aaron Boone may find himself with some interesting decisions to make.
Jameson Taillon has emerged as the Yankees’ most consistent starter of late (7-4, 3.82 over 22 starts), seemingly claiming a permanent spot in the rotation.
“Give me the ball,’” manager Aaron Boone said. “Whether it’s been soaking up innings out of the pen on a day, we need it, whether it’s been a high-leverage spot out of the bullpen and now as a starter, he’s been solid for us; this year and an important part of all this.”
Yankees: Paring Down The Roster
All of this would seem to eliminate the need for Andrew Heaney (1-1, 9.00), who has been less than impressive in two of his three starts since the Yankees obtained him in a trade with the Angels.
By far, though, it’s Gerrit Cole the Yankees need most. He’s been up and down this year and has been unable to put together more than two consecutive wins, not mark typically associated with a team’s ace.
In any event, the return to a full staff will relieve the relievers, who have been pressed into games far more than Boone wanted with six weeks on the schedule left to play.
Bullpen games become a thing of the past while a five and six-inning start from Cole and Montgomery should resume.
Tonight’s game is a 7:10 ET contest with the White Sox in Chicago.
Jameson Taillon goes for the Yankees, and Dylan Cease (9-6, 3.99) starts Chicago.
The Yankees begin 7.5 games behind the Rays, 2.5 games behind the Red Sox, and 2.5 games behind the A’s in the Wild Card race.
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Marcus Coudriet They do and all the others you mentioned. But is there enough time left in the season? As a fan I say yes . as a realist I, say no #28, maybe a push if they make playoffs healthy and HOT.
Joel Albert Sevy won’t pitch this year
David Patrick Need these guys back on the mound. Heaney needs to bartend.
Tim Stoneburner What were the outcomes in the games they should have started?
Closing Published Comments And Final Thoughts
Perhaps because the point of the article was so obvious, readers decided to slough this column off. It happens.