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2021 NY Yankees: Starting Rotation Looks Strong in Spring Training

The 2021 NY Yankees have a brand new starting rotation for this upcoming season. There are only two starters, Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery, who were regular members of the rotation last year who are returning. This offseason, the Yankees added Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon after parting ways with Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ, and James Paxton, to bring a new look to their starting rotation.

2021 NY Yankees Starting Pitchers

Now that Spring Training is more than halfway complete, the picture of what this rotation will look like for the 2021 NY Yankees season is becoming much more clear. It appears that at least four of the spots are all but locked up at this point, and Domingo German is making an extremely strong case for the fifth and final spot. All things considered, the rotation looks very promising right now.

Gerrit Cole

Cole has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball for years now and there is no reason to think he will be anything other than that for this upcoming season. He is the ace of the staff and a preseason candidate for the AL Cy Young. He looks like his normal self in Spring Training and there is really nothing to worry about heading into this season. As long as he stays healthy, which has not been an issue for him, the 2021 NY Yankees should expect a solid start from him every fifth day.

Corey Kluber

Kluber is one of the new faces in the 2021 NY Yankees starting rotation after signing a one-year contract this offseason. He has been plagued by injuries for the last two years and is soon to be 35 years old, but before the health problems, he was one of the best pitchers in the league. In fact, he is a two-time AL Cy Young winner. That is obviously the version of Kluber that the 2021 NY Yankees hope they are getting, or at least something close to it.

At least to this point in Spring Training, there is good reason to be optimistic about his outlook as he has looked like himself with his usual arsenal of pitches. He even threw over 50 pitches in his most recent outing, which is a great sign that he is progressing as he should be. If he can keep the health issues behind him, Kluber can potentially be a major weapon for the 2021 NY Yankees.

Jameson Taillon

Another new face who also has some major health concerns, Taillon was acquired by the 2021 NY Yankees via trade this past offseason. He has not pitched in almost two full calendar years, but his upside and low salary made the young pitcher a great buy-low target in a sort of “low-risk high reward" situation. In his last full season in 2018, he pitched to a solid 3.20 ERA in 191 innings across 32 starts.

Taillon has looked solid so far in Spring Training. Across 5.2 innings he has recorded 9 strikeouts and has not allowed a run. He has struggled a bit with his command, but there is not much reason to be concerned with that yet, especially because the swing and miss stuff has been evident.

Jordan Montgomery

The only lefty in the starting rotation, the 2021 NY Yankees have high hopes for Montgomery this season. He is a very efficient pitcher with a very low walk rate. He does not record a ton of strikeouts, but he does do an excellent job of avoiding hard contact. After missing the majority of the 2018 and 2019 seasons due to Tommy John surgery, he returned in 2020 and had mixed results in the shortened season.

Now that he is back to “normal" the expectation is that he will take a big leap in this upcoming season. All of the tools are there for him to be a big contributor to the success of the 2021 NY Yankees. Furthermore, the organization believes he will be a staple in this rotation for many years to come.

Domingo German

After serving his long suspension, German is back with the team and fighting for the fifth and final spot in the rotation. He has looked great so far in Spring Training and appears to be the clear favorite to win the job over the other options such as Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt. Across three starts so far, German has pitched nine innings with 13 strikeouts. If he keeps pitching like this, he is going to be a part of the 2021 NY Yankees starting rotation.

Opening Day Approaching

The start to the regular season is almost here and the 2021 NY Yankees will start finalizing their Opening Day roster. The starting rotation can be a serious strength for this team as long as they can stay healthy, but even if they can"t, the Yankees are deep at the position with plenty of young starting pitching prospects ready to step in if needed. They will also be getting back Luis Severino at some point this summer, improving their pitching depth even more. On paper, this is the best team in the American League, and if the rotation can pitch to their potential, they are the clear favorites to win the pennant.

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main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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