4 emergency Gerrit Cole rotation replacements not named Snell, Cease, or Lorenzen

The New York Yankees could be staring down the barrel of a nightmare scenario. Here are some players who could potentially fill in and soften the blow.

2024 New York Yankees Spring Training
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training / New York Yankees/GettyImages
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Clayton Beeter

Clayton Beeter, 25, is already on the roster and performing well in Spring Training and projects as a big league starter in a season or two. Here's how his numbers have looked in three games, two starts, and nine full innings:

  • 2.00 ERA
  • 3.67 SO/BB (11 strikeouts, 3 walks)
  • 1.11 WHIP
  • 7 hits

Again, replacing Cole is likely a futile exercise because you can't go to the open market, the trade market, or farm system and find an arm as elite as his. The fact that the Cy Young counterpart from the NL (Blake Snell) is not an obvious and immediate 1-for-1 to replace him is telling for just how elite Cole is.

But, these stats and the performance from Beeter thus far look pretty good, and likens to Cole's fastball and high strikeout style of play. In 71 innings at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in AAA last year, his strikeout-to-walk ratio was 2.02, which hints maybe a 3-plus SO/BB won't be possible at the big league level.

If all was perfect, it's too early for Beeter. He needs more starts at Scranton and more time against fringe AAA/MLB bats, but if the news on Cole is as bad as fans are bracing for, New York does not have time to give him. He's one of the best options in the farm system to take a flier on and see how he does.

Hopefully, the worst case scenario is the Yankees can call him up to start the year, get him some valuable experience, and use him in a start or two while they facilitate a trade or potentially wait for Cole to heal up if the MRI results are better than expected.