Even with some injuries building up and after a quick hiccup with a few losses the Yanks are back on track. As we look over the really good start to this season there's a lot to discuss. Lots of things going well and some things that could be better. Let's take a look at some of those things on the pitchers' side shall we?
So first thing, I've been giving a lot of praise to Nestor and I have to continue here. He just came off an 8 inning gem in a win over the Rays and he's proving start after start there's no fluke here, the mustache is for real and he is the best starting pitcher on the Yanks and one of the best in baseball. Yes, the best starting pitcher. Cole has been good. His era is 3.31 which shockingly is the worst of the starting 5! (though has the second lowest fip at 3.00) Josh wrote a really interesting piece breaking down his last start and overall anyone who was concerned about Cole's slow start should be comforted that Cole is looking good. Maybe he never matches his years in Houston but that's okay. He's a dominant force and also one of the best starters in baseball. (Maybe he should grow a mustache and that might help him overtake Nestor? Thoughts on the magic of the mustache?)
After that praise, we get to my favorite Yankee pitcher Severino. Sevy has been looking good. I've noticed a little different approach and repertoire and Peter wrote today about a better feel and reliance on his changeup along with a tweaked approach to give his slider more bite and to help play off his new cutter. Excellent stuff! I always hoped he'd expand that changeup a little more and to also add the cutter? That's just deadly. My only concern with Sevy is how long can he last. He last pitched a full season in 2018 so I'm wondering the Yankees plan for him because if they just keep letting him go the way he is I have a bad feeling he's going to plow into a brick wall somewhere past the 100 inning mark.
Add in that Monty and Taillon are both looking good and more like #3 starters vs guys I used to think were adequate to fill in as 4th or 5th starters. I'd still like to see Monty get a little deeper and hope to see Taillon stay healthy for the whole year but the rotation as a whole looks really, really good. (though Kevin Gausman wouldn't have hurt :) Depth might be a slight concern as German is out (and I still wish they'd tell him to just take a hike), Gil is out with Tommy John and Garcia is just lost (6.85 era in 90 AAA innings last year and way worse with 25 earned runs in 22 innings this year for a 10.38 era). I think with injuries, Clarke Schmidt and King might be staying in the pen and I'd be curious who the Yanks use for another spot start though after last night I'd guess JP Sears would get another start.
I have to admit the starters are much better than I would have guessed. I didn't imagine Nestor could even repeat last year's play but he's actually doing much, much better! Happy to see Cole getting settled and moving past the sticky stuff (though I still can't get over how horrific his press conference was last year. That stuttering duh expression will last a lifetime). Sevy, man I love to see him back and improved. I was going to get into the pen as well but with the questions that have popped up the last week with injuries and poor performance (and that this is getting a bit long) let's hold off and take a look at them separately in another week or so.
So on the scale of things I like and don't like, the starting pitchers are almost entirely on the side of things I like. Some small concerns with depth and with Sevy and Taillon lasting the whole season but there's a real lot to like and while the pitching as a whole has been good, the starters are really carrying their weight on this team in the first couple of months.
What do you think? Are you worried at all about Sevy? Do you think I sell Taillon or Monty a bit short compared to the others? Do you think there's more depth in case someone goes down? Those 5 starters have eras from 1.70 to 3.31 and fips of 2.55 to 3.72. Can they keep that up? Winning brings good times and there have been a lot of fun exchanges on pinstripe and I hope we can keep them up. Thank you for reading and I hope to hear what you like and don't like about the starters.