By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra/theny extra.com
This won’t look like your typical Yankees’ starting rotation this spring.
Gone is the veteran presence typically and assumingly built to stay within contention despite the age and monetary factors.
You can refer to J.A. Happ, James Paxton, and now Masahiro Tanaka as former familiar pieces.
The current staff is spearheaded by stud workhorse Garrit Cole surrounded by a younger support staff with a whirlwind of potential.
Brian Cashman didn’t panic and chase after the Yankees’ usual big ticket item to support. Cole’s deal was a must last year because they desperately needed a top of the rotation starter.
Instead, Cashman will rely on a younger staff that has compiled a limited majority of innings over the past two seasons.
The Yankees could have kept Tanaka as another veteran anchor and had cleared some cap room. However, they chose to stay their current course.
This is the proverbial dice roll. Yet, this is the time to be patient.
Corey Kluber, who has been on the Yanks’ radar for years, impressed them and others at a workout from his shoulder surgery to merit an eye-raising, one-year, $11 million deal. Not bad for a 35-year-old who has pitched 36 innings over the last two years.
Then there’s 29-year-old Jameson Taillon, who is coming off Tommy John surgery in 2019 as a Pirate. His stuff is highly regarded and his 29-24 career mark in four seasons with the struggling Pirates can be deceiving.
The real hidden gems are Domingo German and Deivi Garcia, the two best studs in recent years who can both be longtime staff staples.
German looked like the real package before his domestic violence issue last year, and Garcia also was ready to take the next step in his brief stay last season.
The Yanks are still high on Jordan Montgomery putting together a solid year after they have seen plenty of signs to confidently place him in the back of the rotation.
The wildcard is Luis Severino, who should be ready by July barring any setbacks. If Severino can regain his luster after consecutive surgeries, he helps solidify the core.
Young arms Clarke Schmidt, Jonathan Loasiga, and Michael King will provide the Yanks with much-needed depth. They are an added luxury if either Kluber, Taillon, or Severino suffer a setback.
Possibly starting next month — if MLB stays on schedule –there certainly will be a different feel with this staff.
The days of the Yankees’ multiple, veteran free-agent rotations appears to be an item of the past.
This one assuredly will be different.
It will be a mixture of youth, experience, potential, and optimism.
By June, we should know if this look is an effective new one or a need to revert to the old one.