Update on Yankees pitchers battling for a rotation spot

Matt Blake, New York Yankees. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Matt Blake, New York Yankees. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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New York Yankees
Gary Sanchez, Jonathan Loaisiga, New York Yankees. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Top candidates

The Yankees thought they had a starting rotation that could contend with other teams Cole, Severino, Masato Tanaka, Paxton, and the option of J.A. Happ or Jordan Montgomery (until German serves his suspension).

Now with Severino done for the season and Paxton out for a couple of months, what does that rotation look like? Cole, Tanaka, and Happ will be the three main starters. Who will get the two remaining spots and how are they fairing in spring training?

Jordan Montgomery

Montgomery got his big break with the Bombers in 2017, responding to the challenge with a 9-7 record. He started out well in 2018 but lasted only five outings before he missed the rest of the season following Tommy John surgery. Monty came back for the final month of 2019, making a pair of appearances totaling four innings with an era of 6.75.

Montgomery hasn’t pitched as well as he or the Yankees would like in spring training, posting a 6.43 era. On the bright side, he has 11 strikeouts in 7.0 innings pitched. The 27-year-old has a proven command on his pitches that gets outs. His experience gives him an edge in earning one of the starting spots.

Jonathan Loaisiga

Jonathan Loisiga has spent the majority of his career in the bullpen. For the 2019 season, he finished 2-2 with a 4.55 ERA over 31.2 innings pitched and punched out 37 batters. Past command issues have hindered his chance for more opportunities to start.

He’s been lights out so far. In three games this spring, Loaisiga pitched five innings with nine strikeouts, no walks, and has not allowed a run. He’s shown improvement so far and has some momentum to land a spot in the starting rotation.