The New York Yankees learned on Wednesday that Corey Kluber will be shut down for a month. That means we can probably expect him back closer to the All-Star break considering he’ll have to take part in some simulated games before going on rehab assignments.
That means there will be a void in the starting rotation for what feels like at least six weeks. And it won’t be easy filling Kluber’s shoes after the month he’s had.
But the Yankees have some time to make their decision. Kluber was the last starter in the rotation to pitch, meaning his slot won’t be scheduled to throw until Sunday.
Who will join Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, Domingo German and Jameson Taillon? The Bombers have a few internal guys on deck who are ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Manager Aaron Boone wasn’t kidding back in spring training when he said more than five guys would be providing meaningful starts for the team throughout the 2021 season. Sadly, everyone knew an injury was coming. It’s here, now it’s time to adapt.
Here are some immediate rotation replacements for the Yankees after Corey Kluber’s injury.
3. Sal Romano
This is a move the Yankees just made last week. After the Cincinnati Reds designated him for assignment, New York swooped in and signed Sal Romano to a minor-league deal.
He won’t be the guy the Yankees call upon at this moment, but there’s an outside chance he could be at some point if they need someone to eat innings/if another injury were to occur. Romano hasn’t been a starter since 2018, but maybe he goes back to that at Triple-A and is used within the next month or so.
Throughout his six-year career, he’s logged 41 starts and 42 relief appearances. He’s got experience in both roles … but he’s yet to put it together. He’s got a 5.07 career ERA as a starter and a 5.47 mark as a reliever.
He relies heavily on his sinker, so perhaps the Yanks see value in that. If he can stretch his arm back out and induce a ton of grounders, it’s not crazy to think he could be a possibility later on to fill in from time to time. Especially considering we don’t really know what the deal will be with these next two options. Romano wouldn’t sniff this list had a number of other guys been healthy (Luis Severino, Clarke Schmidt, Asher Wojcieshowski), but this is what we’re dealing with at the moment.