Predicting Yankees Pitchers’ All-Star Game Chances
Lock: Nestor Cortes Jr.
Nestor Cortes Jr. should be the AL’s All-Star starter, for narrative purposes. We’ve been through this already. If he doesn’t make the team at all, we riot. The calendar has turned to mid-June. Even after a stinker in Minnesota (helped along by Giancarlo Stanton’s defensive lapses), his ERA still sits below 2.00. He’s faced top competition, and rarely (if ever) blinked. He also looked great in 2021. MLB loves great stories, and Nestor’s rise to the top of the Yankees’ rotation is arguably this year’s greatest.
Sure Lock Holmes: Clay Holmes
After watching Aroldis Chapman get a gift desperation All-Star berth in 2021, how does Holmes not make it this season? He was the most dominant eighth-inning man in baseball who’s become the most dominant closer. Through 25 games, he’s been worth 1.6 WAR, holds an 0.34 ERA and 0.675 WHIP. He limits hard contact — as well as any contact — with an eminently controllable turbo sinker. Behind Judge, he’s the most obvious Yankees All-Star pick.
Yes: Gerrit Cole
At the end of the day, name recognition wins out — and, oh yeah, Gerrit Cole’s numbers are once again mind-boggling after a rough three-start stretch to open the campaign. Cole, too, has matched Holmes’ 1.6 WAR (insane, when you think about it) and has struck out 81 men in 64.2 innings pitched entering Thursday’s start in Minnesota. This Spider Tack Merchant is also, uh, one of the game’s best. And, as the Yankees’ ace, he’s more likely to get the nod than…
No (Edged Out by Cole): Michael King
Look, we wish Michael King could get the gig, but what are the odds the league brings two Yankees bullpen pieces — ostensibly non-closers — to the big game? King scuffled with his command in May after owning the breakout narrative race in April. The Yankees’ Swiss Army knife has 42 Ks in 31 innings pitched and has dominated every metric but hard-hit percentage, but … he’s not Cole, and he’s not Holmes. He might be the most important Yankee arm in the pursuit of a championship, but despite Mike Petriello’s plea, he’s probably not climbing the mountain ahead of Cole.