Aaron Judge will always be Aaron Judge’s first priority New York Yankees during the holiday season. However, the situation that they also felt the urgency of promotion began to promote. They did just that by signing Carlos Rodon to a deal, choosing Luis Severino, and avoiding arbitration with Nestor Cortes and Frankie Montas. Although they lost James Tellon in favour Chicago CubsThere is no doubt that they have improved at center and currently sit as one of the best courses in Major League Baseball.
It was recently announced that Montas will miss at least the first month of the season due to injury, which isn’t a huge loss, although it is one of noteworthy. Even without him, the Yankees can expect to get one of the best rotations in the league, but competing in the 2023 Mideast Championship will be tough. How does the staff stand up against their divisional opponents, and which courses might give the Yankees the most trouble in the 2023 season?
First, it’s important to note that a lot can change between now and the start of the season. Players get hurt. Others are released, enlisted in new lists, or traded. There’s a lot that can happen to starting a rotation over a few months, especially with some of these younger teams. Still, looking ahead is never a bad thing, and it will help us put the quality of this Yankee rotation in context.
I should also add that, yes, I understand that fWAR will not present the full picture for shooters. However, it is a quick and easy way to help provide an equivalent number for a pitcher’s performance.
So, let’s move on to the courses.
We can start with Toronto Blue Jayswho finished seven games behind the Yankees in 2022. Last season’s fWAR starter finished eighth in the majors, twice ahead of the Yankees.
The only weak link in the rotation last season was Yusei Kikuchi, who remains in the projected starting rotation for 2023. That will likely change once Hyun Jin-Ryu returns from Tommy John surgery in early July. Alec Manoah and Jose Berríos are two of the big names outside of Rio who can do a lot of damage – Manoah, who came in third in the 2022 Cy Young vote, with his fastball, and Berríos with his sneaky off-speed pitches, though the latter looks up. To recover after a miserable 2022. Kevin Gusman was the best of the bunch last year, notching 5.7 fWAR alone, which was the fifth highest among all pitchers in MLB.
Toronto also added the stalwart Chris Bassett on a three-year free agent deal, bringing home a career-best five. If Berríos can right himself, the Jays have as much upside as almost any turnover in the AL. But that upside likely falls short of New York, and the Jays have question marks about Berrios’ reliability and Rio’s health.
Next she Tampa Bay Rays. The oldest player in both FanGraphs’ projected starting rotation is Jeffrey Springs, at age 30. Other names you’ll recognize in the rotation are Shane McClanahan, who came in sixth in Cy Young voting in 2022 and led the rotation with 3.5 fWAR, and Tyler Glasnow, who pitched in just two regular season games and one game after returning from Tommy John surgery.
Tampa also plays an interesting Drew Rasmussen, who came in behind McClanahan, Klopper (signed with Boston Red Sox), and Springs in 2022 with a 2.9 fWAR (just .1 behind Clubber and Springs, who are tied at 3.0), and Zach Evelyn, who signed a three-year contract with the Rays this offseason and returned from injury to make an impact with the Philadelphia Phillies Last season of the bullpen. While the likes of Springs, Rasmussen, and Eflin aren’t household names, this outfit is pretty serious. McClanahan and Glasnow both have great stuff, and if depth can hold up behind them, this could easily be a top five in the sport.
Next is a team that many people have enjoyed watching throughout 2022 – The Baltimore Orioles. If you’ve ever wanted to talk about youth rotation, now’s your chance. The oldest member of the Orioles’ starting staff is 35, in the form of Kyle Gibson, who pitched a chemistry of 5.05 ERA and 1.8 fWAR with the Phillies last season. Then, there was a seven-year drop-out to 28-year-old Tyler Wells.
Last season the Orioles were 25th at the start of WWII, with Dean Cramer leading the way with a 1.7. One of the best prospects in baseball, Grayson Rodriguez, is expected to be in the starting rotation. Another player to be mentioned is John Means, who is returning from Tommy John surgery.
Plenty of other players spent time in the Orioles rotation last season. The two expected by FanGraphs to be there alongside those other four (means still coming back from injury in this scenario) are Wells and Kyle Braddish. Both showed flashes, but they were far from known quantities. That rotation is still a work in progress, and while the recoveries were once a quality starter and Rodriguez had ace charisma, the personnel are nothing compared to those at the top of the AL East.
Finally, we have the Boston Red Sox, who have the 18th best starter in the MLB tournament, which is surprising in some ways considering they are ranked lower than the Orioles in the standings. Boston’s top player in terms of talent is Chris Sale, but the question remains whether or not he can stay healthy for the duration of the MLB season. The Red Sox also have two other well-known names in Corey Kluber and James Paxton, two former Yankees whose paths converged in Boston. Kluber had a great year with the Rays last year, while Paxton hasn’t played in more than five games over the past two seasons due to his injury.
The last two pitchers expected to be in rotation for the Red Sox are Nick Pivetta and Garrett Whitlock. Pivetta has had a minor career resurgence with Boston, turning into solid backfield hits over the past two seasons. Whitlock’s presence hurts Yankee fans because he excelled at times after being poached by the Red Sox in the Rule 5 draft, but he has yet to find consistent success as a starter. Overall, the Red Sox are a big market team with some big names in their rotation, but in practice, this group leaves you wanting more.
So, what turnover will give the Yankees innings in a three- or four-game series? The best answer would be the Blue Jays, who would have a dreaded top four finish if things got messed up right. The amounts of Gusman and Manoah are known, and Berrios and Rio have the ability to make this a deep spin. However, the intrigues remain with the rest of the division. The Rays have the top two stars, and the Red Sox rotation still somewhat charms me if Sale stays healthy.
In the end, though, this drill showed that none of the other AL East courses have as much depth or upside as the Bronx’s. The Blue Jays have a huge cap, the Rays have aces, but the Yankees can match those teams on both fronts. Now, we are waiting to see how it all plays out in 2023.