Internal options for Yankees after Gerrit Cole injury news

Clayton Beeter Yankees
Calyton Beeter (Wikimedia Commons)

Gerrit Cole will be on the shelf for an extended period — though the exact timeframe is uncertain as he receives another opinion on his elbow in Los Angeles. The reigning Cy Young Award winner will be out at least a month, though, meaning the Yankees have a void to fill in the rotation.

That leaves the current starting rotation at Carlos Rodon, Marcus Stroman, Nestor Cortes and
Clarke Schmidt. External options are still available, but if Brian Cashman does not want to spend the money, who will fill that No. 5 spot? There are a few ideas:

The obvious answer: Clayton Beeter and Cody Poteet

Beeter presents himself as a pitcher who brings the stuff, not heaters to blow past batters.

Relying on low-90s fastballs and mid-80s breaking balls in his three-season-long minor league career, he has a strikeout percentage over 32% and held batters to .218. The righty is not new to the starting game: he opened two games in spring training this year, earning a 2.00 ERA in nine innings pitched IP.

In his first pinstripe start, he fanned four. While he shows promise in Tampa right now, something he’s got going for him is that he’s completely green; he threw two shutout innings in relief in the Bronx last year, so he has an understanding of the home crowd and how demanding New York is. If he gets the task of replacing Cole, he’ll be the kind of guy who retires the side by getting them to chase.

Poteet has a little more experience than Beeter. He’s played in 19 games, starting nine, for the
Miami Marlins between 2021 and 2022. In those outings, he posted a high groundball percentage in 2022 at a whopping 51.2%. If he starts on the mound every fifth day, then he’ll present himself as another weak-contact pitcher, kind of like Marcus Stroman.

The Dark Horses: Luke Weaver and Cody Morris

Weaver has six different pitches that he can go to on any given day, but the spotlight should go on his low-90s cutter and his mid-80s changeup. The cutter is nothing dazzling — it holds batters to .218 and gets them to swing-and-miss at 25.4%. What’s notable about it, is that his cutter is exceptionally fast, clocking in close to 91 mph.

His changeup is also deceiving — he held batters to the Mendoza line with it and put away over a fifth of batters faced with it. He’s seen time in the majors since 2016, so he knows what Yankee fans are like.

Out of everyone, Morris is the closest of the pack to a power pitcher. His most frequently used
pitch, his four-seamer, regularly clocks past 95 mph on the radar gun. His problem is that he’s a chaotic pitcher, who does not consistently land in the zone, with his four-seam or his breaking pitches. If he can find the zone and stay in it, he’ll be more of a threat.

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