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Why the Yankees' Rotation Could Become a Strength For the Playoff Push

The Yankees’ rotation has been decimated by both the injured list and COVID-19 IL as of late. However, this hasn’t stopped them from winning seven of their last nine games.

Now, they are about to get two of their top starters back in ace Gerrit Cole and lefty Jordan Montgomery, who are expected to come off the COVID-IL by early next week, according to Yankees manager Aaron Boone.

Rookie Luis Gil and lefty Nestor Cortes have filled in nicely for this tandem, with Cortes set to make another start this Saturday in Chicago. The Yankees also recently lost starter Domingo Germán to the IL with shoulder inflammation.

On a positive note, if their next bullpen sessions go well, come Monday, one of Cole or Montgomery should be able to start the Yankees’ makeup game with the Los Angeles Angels in the Bronx. If not, they could both pitch on Tuesday when the Yankees will be in need of arms, playing a doubleheader with the Boston Red Sox.

Why the Yankees Are Close To Getting A Major Upgrade In Their Rotation

In addition to Cole and Montgomery, right-hander Luis Severino could also be back with the team by next week as well. Severino is set to toss another rehab start on Friday, and his following outing could potentially come with the big-league club.

Severino has not pitched in the majors since October of 2019, and the Yankees have been patiently waiting for his return. After Tommy John surgery in 2020, along with a setback in the form of a groin strain in June, Severino has missed a total of 174 games (and counting) across two seasons.

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“The guys we’re missing right now are large pieces and you can start dreaming on getting some really impactful players back to fortify us for the stretch run,” said Boone prior to the Yankees’ 5-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.

It is no secret that if the Yankees can get these three impact pitchers back for the final stretch run, it will provide a major boost to their rotation and better their chances at making a push for the postseason. Not to mention the fact that Corey Kluber, Clarke Schmidt and others are also approaching their returns from the injured list. 

The Yankees are six games back of the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East but are now just two games back of the sinking Red Sox who hold the AL’s second Wild Card spot. The Toronto Blue Jays are also breathing down the Yankees’ necks, a half game behind them.

New York has a crucial three game series with the Red Sox next week. Should they come out victorious, it could result in them leapfrogging Boston in the standings, grabbing a hold of a playoff spot.

They could certainly use all the help they can get, and with Cole, Montgomery and Severino rejoining the club, it will only make their starting rotation that much stronger.

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