Though the Yankees don’t have quite the unparalleled depth of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team that might just demote David Price to the bullpen, the team does have plenty to work with when it comes to the rotation.
And in a season coming off a 60-gamer that stunted everybody’s development, there is certainly a need to take one’s foot off the gas pedal whenever possible.
Both men, together, threw one inning last year, and it came courtesy of Kluber’s ill-fated Rangers debut.
The Yankees didn’t acquire Taillon and Kluber to not have them available down the stretch and into October; Kluber’s veteran moxie and Taillon’s No. 2 starter upside will be extremely valuable for as long as the Bombers can keep them fresh. Obviously, they hope that’s all year long.
Aaron Boone announced his official rotation to begin the year, and it became immediately obvious how the team plans to preserve both pitchers.
The Yankees rotation to start the year features baked-in rest.
Yes, the Yankees are planning to get the most out of Gerrit Cole as often as they can — there’s a baked-in off day after Opening Day, so assuming the season’s first game doesn’t get rained out, they’ll be able to get two Cole starts on regular rest before dipping into Taillon’s well.
You certainly can’t complain about seeing your ace a bit more often, especially if it makes sense.
Boone was asked about what bumping Taillon back means in the short term, and he was very candid. This isn’t about a current issue or slowing down his progress. It’s about taking advantage of the schedule’s every curve to make certain they’re bringing him along properly.
Other notable bits? Domingo Germán technically climbed from “in the mix for the fifth starter spot” to “guaranteed five starter” to “OK, he’s actually our No. 3 for now,” which is a very impressive rise. Montgomery as the four for now makes perfect sense, too; his fastball’s leveled up so far, but he still projects steadiness above all else.
Boone also made it clear that, as a part of this innings management plan, Deivi Garcia will factor in heavily for spot starts and has been told to stay ready at the alternate site. We’re also left wondering whether Jhoulys Chacin will remain with the team, too.
This has always been about the long haul for the Bombers, and they’ll hopefully welcome Luis Severino back on time this summer, too. Until then, expect a lot of creativity in minimizing the strain on the team’s brand new arms.