Yankees’ Luis Gil on remarkable Cy Young, Rookie of the Year pace in 2024

Luis Gil Yankees
New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Gil throws to a Los Angeles Angels batter during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 29, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The conversation surrounding Luis Gil has shifted drastically in recent weeks. 

The 25-year-old right-hander was being lauded as a solid replacement for reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole, who is sidelined until June with an elbow issue. Now, it is not out of the realm of possibilities to start considering him for both American League Rookie of the Year and the Cy Young Award. 

Only Fernando Valenzuela has pulled off such a double, winning the NL Cy Young and Rookie of the Year in 1981 when he went 13-7 with a 2.48 ERA with a league-leading 192.1 innings pitched, 180 strikeouts, 11 complete games, and eight shutouts. 

After being sidelined for two seasons due to Tommy John surgery, Gil is putting together a remarkable early case for such consideration — doing so with production that outpaced Cole during his Cy Young campaign last season. 

He continued cementing his resume on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Angels when he allowed just one run on two hits over eight innings of work with nine strikeouts and two walks. It was his sixth victory in as many starts punctuating a stretch that has seen him become one of the most dominant pitchers in the majors. 

Since May 1 (six starts), Gil has allowed just three earned runs on 14 hits across 38.2 innings pitched with 44 strikeouts. It lowered his season ERA to 1.99 while improving his record to 7-1. The 0.70 ERA in May is the third-lowest in a single month in Yankees franchise history, trailing only Hiroki Kuroda (0.55 in July of 2013) and David Cone (0.69 in July of 1998).

Yankees Luis Gil
(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

It is a considerably better start than Cole had through his first 11 outings last year when he won the Cy Young. The veteran righty went 5-0 with a 2.53 ERA and 70 strikeouts — nine fewer than Gil’s punchout total. 

Gil leads American League rookie starting pitchers in ERA, wins, innings pitched, and strikeouts which makes him appear like a lock for the award. The competition obviously stiffens when looking into his Cy Young chances.

Former Mets hurler turned Kansas City Royals ace Seth Lugo leads the majors with a 1.72 ERA and nine wins. Tanner Houck of the Boston Red Sox and Reese Olson of the Detroit Tigers also have lower ERAs than Gil. 

At the heart of Gil’s success is his four-seam fastball, which was on full display Wednesday. He threw the primary pitch 56 times to which Angels batters put it in play just seven times. Six of them were considered soft contact, per Baseball Savant.

“That’s No. 1 why he’s Luis Gil and why he’s off to this start. It starts with his fastball,” manager Aaron Boone said (h/t YES Network). “It’s elite, it’s special, he can lean on it. It’s why he’s gotten better because he has a real presence.”

For more on Luis Gil and the Yankees, visit AMNY.com

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