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It’s Over: Give Luis Gil the AL Cy Young Right Now

Okay, now that the clickbait is out of the way, let’s talk about just how unbelievable of a season the Yankee rookie hurler is having; because while there is still a lot of season left, if it were to end today, you’d be hard-pressed not to give the award to him.

Before we dive into the numbers however, we need to keep in mind the context of his production. Luis Gil (pronounced “heel”) came over to the Yankees in a 2018 trade with the Twins for journeyman outfielder Jake Cave, three years later he would be called up to the majors, starting six games and pitching to a 1-1 record with a 3.07 ERA. The next year, while pitching in an AAA game, Gil blew out his elbow and was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery, ending both his 2022 and 2023 seasons; this year, 2024, he impressed in Spring Training but was informed he would not be making the team.

Then Gerrit Cole went down with an injury.

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The Yankee Ace, having felt something in his pitching arm and noticing he was not recovering as well as normal, would need to be out a few months at least; maybe even the whole year; but all of a sudden Luis Gil went from prepping for minor league life to being the fifth starter in what was now looking to be a very shaky Yankees rotation. How did he respond? Oh, just by putting up a casual 6-1 record with a 2.11 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 55.1 innings pitched (and amazingly, the rest of the rotation has been stalwart as well)!

These numbers on their face are eye-opening enough, but the deeper you dive, the better they become. For example, as Katie Sharp pointed out in a tweet on May 23rd, Gil’s previous five starts have been utterly dominant:

Additionally, Eric Hubbs of Barstool Sports posted that Gil was not only leading the AL, but the entire MLB in (least) hits allowed per 9 IP, by essentially a full run (4.392 as compared to Cease’s 5.339). James Schiano of Rotoworld and the Mets’d Up Podcast in a tweet about just how great the Yankees have been as a team, mentioned that Gil had an “obscene” .141 batting average against and a 31.7% K rate. After his most recent start against Seattle, Max Mannis of Jomboy Media added to the awe by enlightening the baseball community on X that in the month of May alone, Gil had outdueled three separate aces: Corbin Burnes, Luis Castillo, and future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander!

But that’s not all, for despite not facing him directly per se, Gil even managed to steal some of the spotlight from Pirates rookie phenom Paul Skenes on the day the latter threw six no-hit innings with eleven punch outs; how did he do it? Only by ringing up fourteen men in six innings! Both performances that day had me dreaming of what would happen if these two bulldogs went head-to-head someday, a pitching lover’s dream match-up for sure.

Finally, it would behoove us to compare how New York’s “King of the Gil” compares to another rookie phenom, and Yankee off-season target who most were certain would end up in pinstripes; I am of course referring to the LA Dodgers’ Yoshinobu Yamamoto. How do Gil’s stats compare? I’d say pretty darn well:

Luis Gil has had a phenomenal first two months of the season, and should this continue, the smart money bet would be to assume he is the favorite to win both Rookie of the Year and AL Cy Young; I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t rooting for it. Will he do it? I don’t know, but he certainly has the stuff to do so, and with every great start, his confidence only grows. Gil has credited a lot of his success to having access to the best “professor” in Gerrit Cole, whose injury downtime has allowed him to pour himself into helping the other five men on the Yankees staff turn in elite performance after elite performance, to the point where the Yankees rotation is putting up unheard of group numbers; Luis Gil has been a major and indispensable part of this run, and it’s been really fun to watch.

Aaron is a Writer and communicator who has notably served on the communications team of the Westchester County Executive. Nicknamed "Mr. Baseball" in his youth, Aaron is a lifelong Yankee fan, Tino Martinez and Aaron Judge enthusiast, and a fierce defender of Craig Biggio's Hall of Fame worthiness. When he is not writing, or doing baseball related activities, Aaron is an avid foodie and culinarian. His non-baseball writing can be found at the Realety Check substack.

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