The New York Yankees are all set to begin the 2020 season. It’s time to see what their rotation looks like for early spring games.
According to Bryan Hoch of MLB, the New York Yankees have their first five spring starters set and ready to roll.
Yankees upcoming pitching:
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) February 21, 2020
Left-hander J.A. Happ will get the start in Saturday’s spring opener against his former Toronto Blue Jays. Happ came into spring as the team’s fifth starter after Domingo German’s suspension. He’s now jumped up to the fourth starter after James Paxton’s injury.
With Luis Severino shut down for the time being Happ could be even more important to the Yankees rotation. It makes sense that the Yankees want to get him on the mound first, especially coming off a dreadful campaign in 2019.
Jonathan Loaisiga’s battle for the fifth-starter spot will begin on Sunday against the Rays. He’s competing with a number of veterans and prospects to make the opening day roster. This is more than just a spring training start to him. He needs to prove that he’s here to stay.
The real treat will come on Monday night. That’s when everyone’s newest favorite Yankee Gerrit Cole will start. He’s set to go up against his former team the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cole’s first start will not be televised.
Cole has, obviously, been the talk of the spring, receiving a standing ovation after a bullpen session. He signed a nine-year, $324-million contract in December. The longest and priciest contract ever for a pitcher, and the second-richest contract in baseball history, behind only Bryce Harper’s $330 million deal.
Luis Cessa joins Loaisiga in the battle for the fifth-starter spot. He’ll get the nod on Tuesday against the Blue Jays. New York Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone said Cessa will also get some work in Saturday’s game out of the bullpen.
Masahiro Tanaka will toe the rubber on Wednesday against the defending champion Washington Nationals. The 31-year old is entering the final year of his seven-year contract.