Luis Gil learns on the fly but strikes against Mets ‘not there yet’

Yankees pitcher Luis Gil reacts during his outing on th mound against the Mets on June 26, 2024, in New York.
Esteban Quiñones
Thursday June 27, 2024

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The New York Yankees’ aspirations for a strong outing from pitcher Luis Gil were thwarted in their 12-2 defeat against the New York Mets on Wednesday night. The rookie, who has shown considerable promise this season, struggled through 4 1/3 innings on the mound.

Luis Gil’s performance raised alarms as he gave up five runs on four hits and four walks, and committed an error. This difficult game came on the heels of a particularly rough start against the Baltimore Orioles earlier this month, where he lasted just 1 1/3 innings and allowed eight runs. On Wednesday, he showed up better with 4.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4BB, 2 K but far from what he was earlier.

Despite an otherwise standout season, Luis Gil’s recent difficulties have cast doubt on his capacity to handle a full professional workload. As a rookie, he has never pitched more than 96 innings in a professional season. Before Wednesday’s game, he had already logged 81 1/3 innings this season, nearing the halfway mark of the campaign.

The Yankees’ choice to start Luis Gil, despite his recent struggles, indicated their hope for a rebound. However, his strained performance against the Mets highlighted ongoing issues with control and endurance, likely linked to his increased workload this season.

“Part of it but I don’t think he threw the ball great tonight. Just gotta keep growing from it, keep getting better. No one expected it to be easy,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said about the outing. “You’re gonna have bumps along the way. So we’ll kind of rally around him and keep helping him get better, but he is not there yet. He’ll learn from it and grow from it.”

Yankees hope belied, Luis Gill shows tiredness

In a tough outing for the New York Yankees, pitcher Luis Gil struggled against the New York Mets, unable to bounce back from his previous rough performance against the Baltimore Orioles. Manager Aaron Boone had hoped the youngster could recover from his recent setback, but the pitcher faced challenges from the outset.

Luis Gil encountered trouble early, with the Mets loading the bases in the first inning. Though he managed to escape unscathed, it set a difficult tone for the night. After a smooth second inning, his struggles returned in the third. Luis Gil surrendered a leadoff double to Francisco Lindor, walked Brandon Nimmo, and allowed an RBI single to J.D. Martinez. The inning culminated with Francisco Alvarez’s two-run homer off a high fastball, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.

New York Yankees pitcher Luis Gil walks off the mound as New York Mets’ Francisco Alvarez runs the bases on a two-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 26, 2024, in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

His fatigue was apparent in the fifth inning when he walked Nimmo and hit Martinez with a pitch, ending his night. Reliever Caleb Ferguson took over but promptly allowed an RBI double to Alvarez, extending the Mets’ lead to 5-0.

Despite these issues, Boone asserted that there is no current innings limit for Luis Gil. The manager emphasized that the pitcher’s recent struggles were not due to physical problems and expressed hope that the pitcher could learn from his previous outing against Baltimore. Boone noted that in both recent starts, Luis Gil had to rely more on his changeup as hitters focused on his fastball.

“Of course, that’s the question,” Boone said. “So we’ll see. He seems to be in a really good physical place. He’s a young pitcher that hasn’t pitched for a couple years. There’s bumps along the way. It’s not always just because we want to talk about this innings thing and all that. Sure, that could become an issue. That could be a fair point. But I think tonight was more about just being a little bit out of whack mechanically, and therefore he lacked the consistency in his fastball shape, in the command of it, and how it was coming out of his hand.”

Luis Gil’s slump surprising

Luis Gil, who joined the New York Yankees’ rotation due to Gerrit Cole‘s injury, has recently hit a rough patch. Up until June, he had been one of the league’s standout pitchers, boasting an impressive 2.03 ERA and allowing just 18 runs over his first 14 starts.

However, Luis Gil’s performance nosedived last Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles. In a crushing 17-5 loss, he gave up seven runs and eight hits in only 1 1/3 innings, causing his ERA to rise to 2.77. His struggles continued on Wednesday night against the New York Mets, with his ERA further climbing to 3.15.

Despite maintaining his usual velocity, Luis Gil’s accuracy was off, hinting at possible arm fatigue. This was the first time since June 14 against Boston that he didn’t pitch through the fifth inning, ending a streak of 12 consecutive starts where he had done so.

Yankees Luis Gil is pitching against the Rays at Tropicana Field on May 12, 2024.

“You can expect moments like this in any sport, including baseball,” Luis Gil said. “For me, pitch execution is really important and something that I’ve been working on. I definitely want that to be better. But at the same time, it’s all a learning experience. When you’re trying to execute pitches, sometimes the rhythm and your mechanics may be a little off.”

Yankees manager Aaron Boone remarked on Luis Gil’s ability to learn and adapt, acknowledging his past success in overcoming challenges during games. Boone expressed optimism that Luis Gil would use this tough stretch as a learning opportunity, consistent with his approach throughout the season.

“He’s done a really good job of learning on the fly this year — learning from the little adversities he’s faced within an outing and growing from and correcting those things,” he said about the Yankees pitcher. “This is the first time he’s really had a rough outing overall and hopefully, he takes things away from that. He’s done a good job of that all year.”

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