After earning a split in a roller coaster series against the Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Yankees will now move onto the second leg of their all gas, no brakes, eight-game quest to stay in the mid-May playoff race.
The Bombers now head to Toronto, with a lot of mixing and matching required from both pitching staffs.
According to the team's site, Domingo Germán, Gerrit Cole and a slumping Nestor Cortes will stay on turn to complete the four-game series. Meanwhile, after sending Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman to the bump in Games 1 and 2, the Blue Jays have left the final two contests blank.
Game 1 was Jhony Brito's turn in the rotation, but it turns out the Yankees aren't satisfied with sending their two-pitch fifth starter to the wolves and accepting a (likely) early hole. Whether it works or not, they've announced that Jimmy Cordero and his heavy sinker will start instead. Against the odds, Cordero possesses the lowest WHIP on the team at 0.81.
The assumption is that Brito will follow, but as of now, that's only an assumption. Fueled by logic, yes. Confirmed by anyone, no.
Yankees Pitching Probables: Jimmy Cordero to start vs Blue Jays on Monday, May 15
Following Cordero (and, probably, Brito), the bullpen usage chart would dictate that both Ian Hamilton and Michael King are very much available. King breezed through his first inning of work Friday, scuffled through his second, and rested for the remainder of the series. Hamilton, the Yankees' closer-by-default last weekend at The Trop, pitched only one two-hit inning in the most recent Rays series.
It was hard not to be impressed by the Yankees' fight in their first four-game challenge of a very difficult week. While the offense is (ideally) waking up, though, the team's starting pitching still has a long way to go, and is far from whole.
Cortes was supposed to be part of the solution. Brito and Clarke Schmidt? They were pieces of patchwork that might not have gotten sewn on straight. It looks like the Yankees have now moved to mitigate their inherent risk a little, and with Luis Severino reportedly around the corner (and making another rehab start on Tuesday), this might be Brito's unconventional last stand.