The New York Yankees are going to be down two starters to start the year, and Aaron Boone could see the club go with an ‘opener’ occasionally.
Following the Bombers’ 9-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, Boone was asked about possibly turning to an opener (a relief pitcher starting) occasionally to fill their holes in the rotation, per ESPN’s Coley Harvey.
“Could see it being something we consider,” Boone admitted.
The idea of using an opener to start games is something the Tampa Bay Rays started in the 2018 campaign and it took the league by storm. In the one-game, win or go home American League Wild Card Game, the Yankees ended up facing an opener in Liam Hendriks.
While the Yankees never really turned to the opener a year ago, they did go through a game late in September with the opener mentality.
Jonathan Holder would start a 4-1 Yankees win over the Tampa Bay Rays where the Bombers bullpen allowed just two hits while striking out 13 batters.
Going with an opener would not be something the Yankees would try and do every fifth day. The Yankees bullpen really isn’t full of guys who can give you more than one inning, so it going this route could potentially hurt the team in October.
But don’t be surprised if one day early in the season, you hear Chad Green or Holder get the cal to start a game with CC and Severino on the shelf.
As it stands now, Jonathan Loaisiga is the favorite to be the Yankees fifth starter the first week of the season. Boone and the rest of his staff will try and figure out the rest, even if it means turning to the opener.