Aaron Boone reveals Yankees' starting rotation for start of 2021 season

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Scott Thompson
·2 min read
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Gerrit Cole pitches vs. Blue Jays on March 21
Gerrit Cole pitches vs. Blue Jays on March 21

Yankees manager Aaron Boone says his 26-man roster is still not set with four days left until Opening Day. But his starting rotation has been formed.

It was already announced that Gerrit Cole will be starting Opening Day for the second straight season -- a given now for the Yankees' ace. And after him, it will be as follows:

- April 3: Corey Kluber vs. Blue Jays
- April 4: Domingo German vs. Blue Jays
- April 5: Jordan Montgomery vs. Orioles
- April 6: Gerrit Cole vs. Orioles
- April 7: Jameson Taillon vs. Orioles

The reason for Cole getting two starts before Taillon gets his first is due to Boone wanting Cole to remain on his five days rest to keep that consistency.

And though he has looked great in spring training, the Yankees also want to ease Taillon back after his second Tommy John surgery.

"That's just kinda the order I wanted to do it in, frankly. And with Jame-O, it gives us an opportunity to kinda slow play Jame-0 a little bit," Boone explained. "We feel like he's in such a good spot physically, but with the off days we have in April, we just want to be mindful of building these guys up properly.

"We feel like a sixth starter is going to factor in at least once, maybe a couple times in April. By doing it this way, we keep our guys as much as possible on that five- or six-day [rest], sometimes seventh day, but kinda trying to avoid that ninth or 10th day with different off days."

German as the third starter is understandable considering his dominant spring. And Kluber getting the Saturday start against the Jays was also expected, as the veteran looks to bounce back after two injury-laden seasons.

The rotation will have a spotlight on it all season to see if it can stay strong throughout the 162-game marathon.

Justin Wilson may start season on IL

There is a chance Wilson doesn't end up on the injured list to start the season, and the Yankees are working through that. But Boone is confident that the veteran reliever will be available very soon, even if he has to be put on the list.

"We're working through that right now. We think it's going to be close either way. If he does start on the IL, I think it will be the shortest stint as possible," Boone said.