Before everything was turned upside down, the Yankee rotation was looking downright bleak. Luis Severino is out for the season with Tommy John and James Paxton was expected to miss the first two months of the season recovering from back surgery. Among other things, these developments caused J.A. Happ to be bumped to the three spot, and it created a huge void at the back of the rotation.
While the season getting delayed has sucked, it has definitely benefited the Yankees rotation depth.
I’m not sure about you guys, but this rotation scared me. We were all obviously ecstatic about the Cole signing and cannot wait until he takes the mound in a game that matters, but J.A. Happ stinks at baseball, Montgomery is coming off of Tommy John, and there is no number five starter.
Now, let’s take a look at the updated rotation assuming a start date around July 1.
Much better! It’s amazing what one addition can do. James Paxton is expected to be game ready by early June, so it is a virtual lock that he will be ready to go whenever this season does begin. Paxton will be able to take a ton of pressure off of Tanaka, who is more of a number three than a number two at this point. Additionally, having Happ in a top three simply isn’t good enough. He is a 37 year old pitcher with one pitch. His spin rate and velocity both took a dip last season. To expect him to improve at his age with his lack of pitches is unrealistic. If it were up to me, I would have Montgomery at the four spot and Happ at five.
What about Domingo German?
German’s 63 game suspension would resume once the first game is played. Assuming an 81 game season, German would be eligible to come back with 18 games remaining in the regular season. When that day comes, he should immediately be inserted into the rotation at the four spot, with Montgomery moving to five and Happ moving to the pen as a long man.