Yankees right-hander Luis Gil exited his most recent minor league appearance when he grabbed his right arm and called for the trainer, and the ominous nature of that scene was reflected today when skipper Aaron Boone addressed the media. Boone told reporters that team physician Chris Ahmad had examined Gil, and while additional opinions were being sought, the injury looks to be “significant” (link via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com).
The 23-year-old Gil has only made one appearance with the Yankees so far in 2022, yielding four runs in four innings of work. However, he was an important late-season call-up in 2021, when he made six starts and totaled 29 1/3 innings of 3.07 ERA ball with 38 strikeouts. Gil’s 19 walks were far too many in such a short period, but for a 23-year-old rookie it was a nevertheless impressive debut.
The Yankees have had good health in their rotation so far, with each of Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Jameson Taillon and out-of-the-blue breakout Nestor Cortes Jr. holding up and throwing well. Domingo German is currently on the shelf owing to shoulder woes, but it’s been a generally healthy and effective year for the Yanks’ rotation, which ranks second in the Majors with a composite 2.99 ERA. Still, the ostensible loss of Gil robs the organization of perhaps its top depth option.
Then again, Gil has struggled mightily in Triple-A Scranton this year, logging a 7.89 ERA across six outings. He’s still missing bats at a high level (30.1% strikeout rate), but Gil has walked 14.6% of his opponents in Triple-A and yielded six homers in 21 2/3 frames (2.49 HR/9). The extent to which the current arm injury has fueled those poor results can’t be known — it’s possible he’d been pitching through pain before reaching a tipping point on that last offering — but it’s been a struggle for him this season, to say the least.
The Yankees will likely have further details on Gil’s status in the coming days, but the mere mention of “working through opinions” and a “significant” injury obviously suggests that he won’t be an option for the big league club anytime in the near future. With Gil sidelined, the top minor league depth options on the 40-man roster would be Deivi Garcia, JP Sears and Luis Medina. Garcia, once considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, had a dismal season in Triple-A last year and has allowed more runs than innings pitched so far in 2022. Sears has had a strong showing with Scranton, while Medina has struggled at the Double-A level.