Luis Gil Proving He Should Stay in the Rotation Even When Gerrit Cole Returns

The Yankees have a great problem on their hands as Luis Gil has made it impossible for the team to demote him upon Gerrit Cole's return.
May 18, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Gil (81) reacts after the
May 18, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Gil (81) reacts after the / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

When Gerrit Cole went down with an elbow injury prior to the start of the Yankees season, the team had to make a choice on who they'd pick to be the team's fifth starter. The team chose Luis Gil after he showed that he was fully recovered from Tommy John Surgery this spring.

Many expected Gil would hold the role until Cole was fully recovered. Then the team would either move Gil to the bullpen or send him back to the minor leagues.

Through nine starts, Gil has made it clear that he should remain in the Yankees rotation once Gerrit Cole returns. In his nine starts, Gil is 5-1 with a 2.39 ERA, striking out 62 batters. For his career, Gil is now 6-2 with a 2.95 ERA in 82.1 innings pitched, proving that this is the caliber of player the Yankees have on their hands. Sunday against the White Sox, Luis Gil threw 98 pitches while striking out 14 batters, becoming the seventh Yankee ever to do so in under 100 pitches.

At this point in the season, you can argue that Gil or Clarke Schmidt have been the team's best pitchers while Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortes, and Marcus Stroman are also having solid seasons. The issue is that someone has to leave the rotation on Cole's return and the Yankees have no clear candidate to move.

The team paid Carlos Rodon too much money and he's been solid enough that you can't trade him or move him to the bullpen. Marcus Stroman has the experience and the talent to keep him in the rotation, and the team would prefer to keep him as well. This makes Nestor Cortes the most likely candidate to become a trade chip as he's on a moveable contract while he's shown to be a decent piece in the bullpen.

The New York Yankees shouldn't move Luis Gil because he's a piece that's truly hard to find. The team moved most of it's cost-controlled pitching prospects this off-season in the Juan Soto trade, leaving Gil as one of the few major league-ready pieces.

The team will likely look to re-sign Juan Soto this offseason and with as many high-salary players as the Yankees have, they can use low-cost players like Gil. Pitching injuries are becoming so common that the Yankees would be best suited to having more low-priced arms and investing in the lineup.

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