Yankees Pitching Duo Ranked 5th Best in MLB behind Division Rival

The New York Yankees are off to a 19-12 start to the year despite key injuries. The Yankees are one game back of the Baltimore Orioles in the division despite the absence of DJ LeMahieu and Gerrit Cole. Regardless of Cole’s injury, he and Carlos Rodón were ranked the No. 5 starting pitching duo by Bleacher Report’s Tim Kelly.

“Gerrit Cole is the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner and has been the best pitcher in baseball over the last six seasons. However, between his injury and some uncertainty behind him in the starting rotation, the Yankees couldn’t be any higher than this,” wrote Kelly regarding the Yankees ranking.

Cole’s injury clearly plays a role in the ranking. However, the success of Rodón paired with the potential of Cole returning without skipping a beat cannot go unnoticed. The Yankees division rival Orioles ranked second on the list. The duo of Corbin Burnes and Kyle Bradish is off to a great start in 2024.

Cole’s Injury

Cole was announced to miss “one to two months,” before the season, according to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman.

Cole had thrown simulated games during spring training. He made his lone Grapefruit League game appearance on March 1 and “likened his level of fatigue following outings to what he usually would feel after throwing 100 pitches during the regular season,” wrote MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch on March 16.

Cole flew to Los Angeles to meet with specialist Dr. Neal ElAttrache. It was determined he would not need Tommy John Surgery, according to Hoch.

The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner was diagnosed with nerve inflammation and edema. He would not require platelet-rich plasma injections, according to Hoch.

Before the Yankees season opener against the Houston Astros, Cole revealed when he plans to return.

“Cole said before the game he’s feeling good and hopes to be back around what’s often whispered as the target date for his return, June 1,” wrote Heyman in a March 28 story.

Rodón and Cole Should be a Strong Duo in 2024

While Cole aims and works towards a return in 2024, Rodón is off to a strong start in 2024.

Rodón joined the Yankees in 2023 but made just 14 starts after two stints on the injured list. He signed a six-year $142 million deal with the club before the 2023 season. In 2024, he seems healthy and back to pitching like the player the Yankees expected when they signed him.

“Rodón’s first season of a six-year, $162 million deal with the Yankees did not go well, to say the least; he made only 14 starts and went 3-8 with a 6.85 ERA while dealing with nagging injuries,” wrote The Athletic’s Jim Bowden. “This year he appears healthy, and his new cutter has made him more effective.”

This season Rodón has a 2.48 ERA across six starts. He has struck out 30 batters so far. Rodón was an All-Star and finished in the top ten of Cy Young Award voting in 2021 and 2022.

In 2023 Cole’s 2.53 ERA, 15-4 record and 209.0 innings pitched all led the American League. It is unclear how strong Cole will return. Pairing the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner with a healthy Rodón could be a huge boost for the Yankees.

Like Heavy.com’s content? Be sure to follow us.

This article was originally published on Heavy.com

The post Yankees Pitching Duo Ranked 5th Best in MLB behind Division Rival appeared first on Heavy.com.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *