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Losers of four straight games, the Yankees desperately need to salvage a game in their series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night. And to help them try to do just that, New York is going with their trusty rookie.
Luis Gil has just three starts in the big leagues...but he hasn't allowed a single run yet. In 15.2 innings, he's allowed nine hits and seven walks, but hasn't seen a man touch home plate. His high-octane stuff, with a fastball that's touched 100 mph, has tallied 18 strikeouts as well.
Gil, despite just seeing the big stage for the first time, isn't afraid of the roaring crowds and bright lights. He gets the job done, even when the pressure is the highest.
And that's why, if he can get through a red-hot Jays team Wednesday night in the Bronx to help break the losing streak, Gil should be in serious consideration for a postseason rotation spot.
For those saying he'll only have a handful of career starts and the pressure is too high, you've seen his early rapport. It's flawless in the run column and he knows how to pitch out of jams effectively.
One must also consider what the Yankees' current rotation is looking like. Jameson Taillon, after ripping off a solid stretch since the All-Star break, has fallen back down to Earth. In his last five starts, Taillon owns a 7.01 ERA after allowing 20 earned runs over 25.2 innings with seven homers given up as well.
Can the Yankees trust his inconsistency if they make it into a divisional series? He's not helping himself at the moment.
Corey Kluber would be expected to pitch behind Gerrit Cole given his experience in the postseason, but coming off a shoulder injury, the Yankees are simply hoping he can finish the regular season and be healthy enough to go for them if that time comes.
And then there's Jordan Montgomery, who did well in his ALDS start against the Tampa Bay Rays last year. But Monty is also slightly inconsistent at times, though he's pitched to a 3.47 ERA.
But overall, the postseason is about pitchers attacking hitters and not being afraid to pitch out of games in the toughest of moments. Gil has done that already, and he should have a couple more opportunities to prove that again before the regular season comes to an end.
Even if it isn't a rotation spot, Gil should be someone that manager Aaron Boone considers as an opener in certain games. Perhaps, using Gil to Montgomery or vice versa?
Either way, having his arm somewhere on the roster would bode well for a team that needs to watch Jonathan Loaisiga's situation at the back end of the bullpen, too.
He can solidify that spot with good starts down the stretch.