Aaron Boone reveals result of Yankees' heated fifth starter competition

The Yankees' rotation has been settled -- for now.
Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees - Game Two
Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees - Game Two / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

To enter the regular season, the Yankees' fifth starter ... will not be Jordan Montgomery.

Monty, according to former GM Jim Bowden, is beginning to gather long-term offers, with the Yankees remaining tangentially involved. Still, considering the way the team has attacked the pitching market since signing Marcus Stroman -- and Montgomery's reported personal feelings about the organization -- it now feels safe to believe them when they reveal they've decided to go a different direction.

Despite spirited efforts from Clayton Beeter (spirited good) and Cody Poteet (spirited bad), this race really came down to flamethrower Luis Gil and top prospect/sweeper artist Will Warren by the end of camp.

Per Aaron Boone at Sunday's Mexico Series, Gil came out of spring training the winner, blowing observers away with his wickedly moving 99 MPH heater against the Phillies a week and a half ago, then following that up with two similarly powerful outings against the Blue Jays/Mets.

Yankees choose Luis Gil over Will Warren (and free agency) for fifth starter

No word yet on whether Warren will make the roster out of the bullpen or begin at Triple-A; there are certainly service time concerns involved (for better or worse), as well as non-roster invitees like Nick Burdi and Dennis Santana, who also remain at the roster's fringes. Santana will get the start in Monday's exhibition against the Diablos Rojos, the Yankees' final exhibition contest prior to Opening Day.

Gil received a rotation cameo in 2021, and was adept at keeping the opposition off the scoreboard, but not always at keeping the ball at the corners of the plate. He allowed just 20 hits in 29 1/3 innings across six starts, but walked 19 men for an elevated 1.33 WHIP. Looking to build on that debut campaign in 2022, he came down with elbow soreness after a single spot start and needed reparative Tommy John surgery.

Now, he'll receive a chance he's very much earned, slotting in behind Clarke Schmidt and a trio of veterans to begin the season. According to Joel Sherman's reporting, the Yankees are shedding a belief in arbitrary innings caps, and Gil should be completely unlimited as he navigates this season. They'll let his performance dictate how often he appears.

Hopefully, for the Yankees' sake, Gerrit Cole's return helps limit Gil's innings somewhat, though, allowing the electric righty to spend the second half beefing up the bullpen.