Panic had set in across Yankees Universe at the outset of August. They had added some useful players at the trade deadline, but suddenly, top starters Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery were both out of the team’s rotation due to COVID-19 positives. They joined Corey Kluber, Domingo Germán, Luis Severino, Michael King, and Clarke Schmidt among the numerous Yankees starters on the shelf.
So GM Brian Cashman and skipper Aaron Boone had to reach into the Yankees’ minor league depth and call up 23-year-old Luis Gil. It was definitely a roll of the dice since while Gil was the team’s top-ranked pitching prospect according to Baseball America, he’d made just eight appearances above Triple-A. He pitched six innings in a combined no-hitter on July 21st, but followed that up by getting rocked in a poor four-out start on July 27th.
Even the most optimistic of Yankees prospect enthusiasts wouldn’t have predicted what happened next. In his MLB debut on August 3rd, Gil was electric across six scoreless innings against the Orioles, earning the win. Since he was a COVID roster replacement, there had been no guarantee of a second start, but the right-hander definitely earned it. And on August 8th, he rewarded the Yankees with five more shutout frames against an even more competitive team, the Wild Card-contending Mariners.
Gil’s been simply sensational in his first two starts, combining for 14 strikeouts across 11 innings of scoreless ball, allowing just three walks and six hits. At least in the hearts of Yankees fans, he absolutely deserves a longer look in the starting rotation.
So it’s time to celebrate Luis Gil: King of the Gil!
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