The rotation was supposed to be the weak link of the 2017 New York Yankees team. Sure, Masahiro Tanaka was the unquestioned ace of the staff, but every other starter was a major wild card. CC Sabathia was good in 2016, but was another year older. The only thing consistent about Michael Pineda and Luis Severino had been their inconsistency to date, and the fifth starter’s spot wasn’t even confirmed until after the first week of the season (the spot went to unproven southpaw Jordan Montgomery).
But as the Yankees sit in first place on the morning of June 8, 2017, it’s fair to say that the team’s rotation has not gone according to plan at all. However, this is a good thing. Even though Tanaka has struggled mightily this year, the performance of his fellow starters has made up for his poor play. Sabathia, Pineda, Montgomery, and especially Severino are no longer question marks on the 2017 Yankees, but rather exclamation points: something special that the Yankees can brag about.