Twins stare at oversight as Luis Gil emerges as Yankees’ secret weapon

Yankees' pitcher Luis Gil is at Yankee Stadium against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium Thursday, May 23, 2024, in New York.

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The Minnesota Twins are set to start a three-game series starting Tuesday against Luis Gil, the Yankees’ most potent pitching weapon. He is the same pitcher who the Twins traded to the Yankees during the 2018 spring training in exchange for outfielder Jake Cave. Little did anyone know at the time that this seemingly minor transaction would have such a profound impact on both Luis Gil’s career and the Yankees’ fortunes.

To the dismay of the Twins, the same Luis Gil has become the most dominant pitcher this season and MLB recognized this by bestowing him with both Pitcher and Rookie of the Month awards for May.

After an impressive debut season in 2021, where he posted a 3.07 ERA across six starts, Luis Gil faced adversity in 2022 when he required Tommy John surgery after just one appearance. Undeterred by the setback, he worked tirelessly to rehab and return to the mound, earning a spot in the Yankees’ rotation this season due to Gerrit Cole’s elbow injury.

Now, Luis Gil is set to take the mound against his former team, with a sparkling 7-1 record and a 1.99 ERA and as one of the most reliable strikeout machines, leading the Yankees with 79 strikeouts and an impressive 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Luis Gil’s meteoric rise has been nothing short of spectacular, as the young right-hander has taken the baseball world by storm with his dominant performances on the mound. In May alone, he was a perfect 6-0 with an astonishing 0.70 ERA across six starts, showcasing his ability to consistently shut down opposing lineups. His success extends beyond just one month, as he has won his last seven decisions since suffering his only loss of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 15th.

Luis Gil’s most recent contribution to the Yankees’ impressive 7-2 road trip came in a masterful outing against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday. The rising star pitched a career-high eight innings, allowing just one run on two hits while striking out nine batters. This performance was a continuation of his strikeout prowess, as he has fanned an impressive 31 batters over his last three starts.

New York Yankees pitcher Luis Gil reacts to a standing ovation after pitching against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium Thursday, May 23, 2024, in New York.
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Luis Gil emerges Yankees’ top pitcher

While Luis Gil’s rapid ascent may have caught some by surprise, those within the Yankees organization have long believed in his potential. As shortstop Anthony Volpe recently remarked, “I don’t think anyone’s really surprised within the clubhouse or the organization. But the level he’s doing it (at) and the lineups he’s doing it against, I think we’re all just blown away.”

Manager Aaron Boone has emphasized Luis Gil’s exceptional performance highlighting his “enormous” impact. Filling in for the injured Gerrit Cole, he has posted a 1.99 ERA over his first 11 starts.

As of Monday, which marked Luis Gil’s 26th birthday, his ERA ranked fifth among qualified starters and third in the American League, behind only Royals right-hander Seth Lugo (1.72) and Red Sox right-hander Tanner Houck (1.85). Additionally, Gil’s .135 batting average against was the lowest in the majors among qualified pitchers, with Phillies lefty Ranger Suarez in second at .167.

These impressive statistics are largely attributed to a dominant May, which saw Luis Gil going 6-0 with a 0.70 ERA in six starts, striking out 44 batters over 38 ²/₃ innings while allowing just 14 hits and 12 walks.

Boone lauded Luis Gil’s development, acknowledging that while his fastball had always been his signature pitch, his entire pitching repertoire had become significantly more polished.

“He’s got the big fastball, which has always been his calling card, but he’s gotten really polished,” Boone said. “As we’ve seen here these first two months, to see him hunger to get better and learn from everything that he’s gone through, build a really solid routine, that’s what’s been really satisfying about Luis.”

Luis Gil’s outstanding performances have been a driving force behind the Yankees’ recent 22-6 run, which included a five-game winning streak that began with his last start.

As the Yankees prepare to face the Minnesota Twins, the team that originally drafted Luis Gil, they will do so with the confidence that comes from their previous series against them. In that series, the Yankees swept the Twins in Minnesota, outscoring them 14-1 over the course of the three games.

Judge hails “King of the Gil”

Luis Gil’s phenomenal performance in May has not gone unnoticed, with the Yankees starter earning American League Rookie of the Month and AL Pitcher of the Month honors for the month, as announced by MLB on Monday.

During May, Luis Gil went unbeaten with a 6-0 record across six starts, posting a remarkable 0.70 ERA (3 earned runs/38.2 innings pitched). He allowed just 14 hits and 12 walks while striking out 44 batters, compiling an impressive 0.67 WHIP.

Yankees captain Aaron Judge took to social media to celebrate Gil’s achievement, referring to him as the “[King] of the Gil.” Gil became the first Yankees rookie to win a monthly award since Miguel Andujar in June and August of 2018.

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The contributions of Luis Gil and Judge have propelled the Yankees to the top of the AL East leaderboard. With a 42-19 record, the Yankees hold a 2.5-game lead over the second-placed Baltimore Orioles.

As the Yankees return home from a highly successful nine-game West Coast trip, they will look to Luis Gil to continue his dominant run and become the team’s first eight-game winner of the season. The young hurler’s rise to stardom is a testament to his talent, dedication, and resilience, and his upcoming start against the Twins serves as a reminder of the circuitous path that led him to this moment.

With Luis Gil on the mound, the Yankees have every reason to believe that their success will continue, and that their homegrown talent will play a critical role in their pursuit of a championship.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

One thought on “Twins stare at oversight as Luis Gil emerges as Yankees’ secret weapon

  1. Does anyone at your site do any sort of fact checking? This post is an utter disgrace. Gil was an IFA kid not a draft choice. The Twins signed him in February 2015, but made his pro debut for the Yankees after the trade here in 2018. So, they traded a kid who was going to be Rule 5 eligible at the end of the season, but has yet to make his pro debut for a 4th OF they could use now.

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