Who’s primed to step in next as Yankees rotation depletes

Gerrit Cole, the ace of the Yankees' rotation, at the mound of Yankee Stadium.

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ATLANTA — After the Yankees’ loss in Atlanta on Tuesday, the fanbase slammed Luis Severino for another below-par outing. But they were expecting such a performance from him considering his ongoing problems. With the rotation hard hit by injuries and layoffs, the Yankees have not many options on the roster to fallback. However, their farm system is brimming with talented arms.

Yankees rotation in the doldrums

Luis Severino has had a really tough time this season, and he’s even said it’s been the worst year he’s had in baseball. He’s been really hard on himself, calling himself the worst pitcher in the game. His earned run average (ERA), which shows how well a pitcher is doing, stands at 8.06 entering Tuesday.

Even though Severino has been struggling, the Yankees still let him pitch in each turn of their rotation. In his last game on August 9, they had Ian Hamilton opening the game before him, but it didn’t really change the outcome. The Yankees have been sticking with Severino in some way, even though he’s been facing a lot of challenges. This clearly demonstrates they don’t really have many options left.

The Yankees’ group of starting pitchers hasn’t been in good shape all season, which has been kind of like giving Severino multiple chances. Right now, the team doesn’t have Nestor Cortes because of a shoulder problem. Carlos Rodon is out following a hamstring injury. The Yankees have put Domingo German on a rehab list after he was found to have an alcohol addiction issue.


Since those three pitchers are not available and the Yankees didn’t get a new starter during the trade deadline, Severino has been a consistent choice for pitching. There are also two other starters, Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez, who are part of the team. But they continue to be journeymen.

Who else can join the Yankees rotation?

According to manager Aaron Boone, the Yankees have several players who were supposed to be part of their pitching rotation but aren’t able to play right now. The situation is so difficult that he’s thinking about using relief pitcher Michael King for longer periods of time.

The Yankees only have three more starting pitchers listed on their team roster: Yoendrys Gomez, Luis Gil, and Frankie Montas. Gomez hasn’t played in a higher league than Double-A, while Gil and Montas are currently dealing with injuries and won’t be able to help the Yankees this year.

So, who can step up for the Yankees if they need another starting pitcher in the future?

Pitching coach Matt Blake told the Daily News that Clayton Beeter and Mitch Spence would be considered. Both of them have been at Triple-A for a good amount of time. These are the two names that the pitching coach thinks are most important. According to him, Will Warren is being considered too and the Yankees can give chances to players who have been in Triple-A for most of the year.

Yankees prospect Clayton Beeter is pitching for the Somerset Patriots
cbeet15/ instagram

Clayton Beeter, who the Yankees got from the Dodgers when they traded Joey Gallo, is ranked as the 16th-best young player on the team by MLB Pipeline. But he hasn’t done very well in Triple-A, with an ERA (a way to see how good a pitcher is) of 6.25 in seven games for the RailRiders. Warren, who is ranked 10th-best among the young players on the Yankees, also struggled in Triple-A. His ERA is 5.24 after 13 starts.

Spence, who isn’t considered one of the top 30 best young players on the Yankees, has the best-earned run average among the players Matt Blake talked about. His ERA is 4.86, and he played in 22 games. But honestly, none of these three players have done really great this season, especially not when they played in Triple-A.

Blake acknowledged that the challenging aspect was managing this situation. He mentioned that they obviously wanted players to complete their development while playing in Triple-A. However, there are also requirements at the major league level that need to be considered. It’s a constant balancing act.

Rodon coming back could help the Yankees with their depth worries, and it might mean that Severino, Brito, or Vasquez won’t have to pitch as starters anymore. However, Rodon hasn’t been doing well recently. Injuries and inconsistency are taking a toll on the pitching team for a while.

Yankees' young arms Jhony Brito and pitcher Randy Vasquez

Chances are that the Yankees will probably need another pitcher at some point, but because of things like how the team’s roster works and not-so-great statistics, they don’t have an easy choice to make. Brito and Vasquez, too, who have done a pretty good job even though people didn’t expect too much from them, are playing in the major leagues sooner than planned. This shows that there is an issue with how the Yankees have put together their team and how their young players are growing.

Blake admitted that having both Brito and Vasquez consistently pitch wasn’t the best situation for the Yankees, but he acknowledged that their options are limited considering the situation.

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