The New York Yankees‘ starting rotation leaves a lot to be desired behind ace Gerrit Cole. While Luis Severino has the potential to be a co-ace, his availability is almost a luxury at this point given he’s made seven starts since 2018.
Behind the two right-handers, Jordan Montgomery has become a model of consistency, Nestor Cortes will look to rediscover some of his 2021 magic and Jameson Taillon aims to bounce back from October ankle surgery.
It’s very much a boom or bust rotation, and the bust part comes with the fact the Yankees lack depth behind their projected starters. Domingo German would be an awesome sixth option, but he’s on the 60-day IL with shoulder issues.
Aware of the need to add reinforcements, the Yankees announced they signed former All-Star Shelby Miller on Sunday. It’s a standard minor league contract with an invitation to spring training for the 31-year-old righty.
The Yankees have signed former All-Star pitcher Shelby Miller.
Once viewed as a top-five prospect back in 2012 and ranked ahead of the likes of Cole, Manny Machado, Trevor Bauer, Taijuan Walker and Wil Meyers, Miller’s career has been on a huge down swing since his lone All-Star nod in 2015.
Since then, Miller has had stops with the Diamondbacks and Rangers before splitting time with the Cubs and Pirates last season. To put his tailspin into perspective, Miller is 1-8 with a 9.17 ERA, 2.01 WHIP, 48 walks to 57 strikeouts and 12.14 hits per nine innings in 37 appearances over the last three seasons.
Worth noting that Miller opted out of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so those numbers date back to 2018. Regardless, those stats are hardly worthy of making a 53-man roster, so the Yankees will likely see how the former first-rounder looks during the rest of spring training before deciding his future.
Based on how he performed in 2021, though — 13 earned runs, 16 hits, three home runs and 11 walks in just 12.2 innings — it’s highly doubtful that Miller makes the big league squad, especially since opening day is a little over a week away.
At the end of the day, we’re talking about a pitcher who’s been nowhere near effective or healthy enough in the MLB since 2015. During that span, he owns a 12-39 record with a 4.98 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 94 appearances.
It’s clear the Yankees are looking to find lightning in a bottle with Miller. Perhaps pitching in the AL East for the first time in his career will rejuvenate him, but we wouldn’t count on it. His recent track record is too woeful to ignore.