Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced to reporters, including Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, that right-hander Luis Gil will undergo Tommy John surgery. The procedure is set to take place this Tuesday, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.
This is obviously very disappointing news for both Gil and the team. For Gil personally, the 23-year-old was starting to make his way into the Yankees’ plans, making six starts last year and one this year. Last year, he fared very well over those starts for the club, logging a 3.07 ERA with a 29.5% strikeout rate, though a concerning 14.7% walk rate. Still, for a depth starter, that’s more than acceptable. He’d been struggling so far this year, with a 7.89 ERA over six Triple-A starts, though he was still racking up strikeouts at a 30.1% pace.
Gil is in his final option year, meaning he will be out of options next year. Therefore, once he’s made his way back from this surgery, he won’t be able to be sent to the minors without first being exposed to waivers. Gil was in the minors when injured and won’t accrue service time while rehabbing from the injury. However, he will still occupy a spot on the 40-man roster. Should the Yankees have need to add someone else to the roster in the future, they could open up a spot by moving Gil to the MLB 60-day injured list. However, doing so would entitle Gil to MLB pay and service time for the remainder of the year. He came into this season with 33 days of service time and added just a single day to that when making a spot start earlier this year.
For the team, they are now without their sixth starter. They have enjoyed remarkable health with the front five members of their rotation, as Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, Nestor Cortes Jr., Jameson Taillon and Luis Severino have made all of the club’s starts, outside of that single spot start from Gil. An entire rotation staying healthy for a full season is essentially unheard of, meaning the Yanks will surely need to use another depth starter at some point. Even if they are remarkably healthy, the schedule will occasionally require a fresh arm. For instance, last night’s game was postponed and will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow. That means the Yankees are going to be playing ten games in the next nine days. Assuming the club doesn’t want to have any of their front five pitching on short rest at this stage of the season, they will need a spot start from somewhere.
Other options on the 40-man roster include Deivi Garcia, JP Sears and Luis Medina. Medina is unlikely to get serious consideration, as he’s in Double-A and has an ERA of 5.00 at the moment, having walked 17.9% of batters faced on the year so far. Garcia has eight MLB starts under his belt from 2020 and 2021, but has a whopping 9.17 ERA in Triple-A this year, with his strikeouts down to 16.5% and his walks up to 15.4%. Sears could be a legitimate option, with his 0.53 ERA in Triple-A so far, though in a small sample of just 17 innings. Looking to the active roster, Clarke Schmidt could perhaps transition from the bullpen to the rotation. He’s been working as a long man this year, logging 11 innings in five appearances with a 0.82 ERA.