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Corey Kluber is the ace the Yankees need

Corey Kluber is the difference maker and impact arm the Yankees need atop their rotation.  In 2017 and 2018, Yankee fans wished ace-like status on Luis Severino, but his inconsistencies have left him just short of owning the name.  Kluber, 32, has been the definition of consistent for the Cleveland Indians, winning 18+ games four out of the last five years and winning 20 games in 2018 for the first time in his career. Kluber has posted an ERA below 3.50 every season since 2014, and has struck out at least 220 hitters in the same span. Kluber keeps getting better, and is not showing any signs of regression. Kluber is an ace, the ace the Yankees need.

Mid-Season Report Card: CC Sabathia

Grade: B

The six-time All-Star, now in his 17th season at age 36, CC Sabathia has had a rocky 2017 season to date, not pitching to ace-like numbers since 2012. His past few seasons have been very inconsistent, but Sabathia has still been productive at the back end of the rotation.

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens/AP

First Half Performance

CC Sabathia has had an up-and-down 2017 season. After a magnificent start, he was horrible in his next month or so of starts. He has since rebounded very well before having to go on the DL. His first start off the DL got off to a good start, not allowing a base runner in 2.2 innings, but he then proceeded to allow six consecutive base runners, three hits and three walks, before being pulled.

Sabathia has still been a productive member of the Yankees, pitching to a 3.81 ERA in 14 games started. If that qualified for the ERA leaders, he would currently rank 14th in the AL. The lefty, as stated, was really finding a groove before his DL stint. In his six starts before the injury, he allowed just four earned runs in 36.1 with 35 strikeouts. The 0.99 ERA in that span really lowered his ERA after a very rough stretch in which he allowed at least four runs in four consecutive outings. If you exclude this four-game spurt, Sabathia has quietly been one of the better pitchers in the AL

Second Half Expectations

Sabathia should be expected to be an integral part of the rest of the season for the Yankees if they want to regain their early season form. With the inconsistencies in the rotation from Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda, the Yankees need the CC Sabathia that they have gotten for much of the season. If he can be productive and give the Yankees length every fifth day, it will be a huge step towards getting the Yankees back in the hunt for the AL East division lead.

Photo Credit: Adam Hunger/Getty Images


Sabathia is really learning how to be productive without the overpowering stuff he’s been used to his whole career. With that, he has become a very valuable third option in the Yankees rotation this season, behind youngsters Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery. Sabathia’s success is even more crucial when considering how bad Pineda has been as of late, along with Tanaka’s struggles for much of the season. This rotation is not very reliable when it comes to consistency and that’ll be the key of Sabathia’s game in the second half of the season. The Yankees can also only hope that he and others in the rotation can stay away from injuries, something that has really hurt the team in the last month or so. If they don’t acquire a starting pitcher at the deadline, it would largely be because Sabathia and others have become much more reliant.

Article by: Spencer Schultz
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