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Luis Gil

From BR Bullpen

Note: This page discusses 2020s pitcher Luis Gil. For the 1951 Dominican national team player of the same name, click here.

Luis Ángel Gil

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 185 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Luis Gil made his major league debut as an emergency starter for the New York Yankees against the Baltimore Orioles on August 3, 2021 after scheduled starter Gerrit Cole tested positive for COVID-19 and had to be replaced with a few hours' notice. Gil was called up from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and was excellent, giving up no runs on 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6 in as many innings to earn credit for the 13-1 win.

He was originally signed as an international free agent by the Minnesota Twins on February 12, 2015. He pitched 16 games in relief for the DSL Twins that year, going 1-2, 4.63, then was assigned to the GCL Twins in 2016 but did not pitch at all. He was back to square one in 2017, with the DSL Twins, this time as a starting pitcher. In 14 games, he was 0-2, 2.59, logging 41 2/3 innings and striking out 49. On March 16, 2018, he was traded to the Yankees in return for OF Jake Cave. He did make his stateside debut that year, pitching for both the Pulaski Yankees of the Appalachian League and the Staten Island Yankees of the New York-Penn League, going 2-3, 1.96 in 12 starts. He was a Rookie League All-Star according to Baseball America.

Luis moved to full-season ball in 2019, splitting the season between the Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League and the Tampa Tarpons of the Florida State League, going a combined 5-5, 2.72 in 20 starts. In 96 innings, he struck out 123 batters. This time, he was names a Sally League mid-season All-Star by MiLB. His career was set back by having to sit out the 2020 season because of the Coronavirus pandemic shutting down the minor leagues, then he returned to action in the Dominican League in 2020-21, with the Tigres del Licey. He then started the 2021 season in AA with the Somerset Patriots and was promoted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after 7 starts. On July 21st, he combined with Reggie McClain and Stephen Ridings in pitching a, 8-0 no-hitter over the Rochester Red Wings. Ridings was also called up to New York due to the positive COVID tests, and followed Luis on the mound in his big league debut two weeks later, making his own debut. In his second start, on August 8th, he again did not allow any runs, this time in 5 innings against the Seattle Mariners, although the Yankees eventually lost that game. He made it three scoreless starts in a row on August 17th when he held the Boston Red Sox scoreless in the second game of a doubleheader, although he did not get the win as he was removed with two outs in the 5th in favor of Wandy Peralta. He was the first pitcher since 1893 to start off his career with three scoreless starts, and his 15 2/3 innings without a run were the most by a Yankee starting his career since 1961, bettering the 15 1/3 by Joba Chamberlain in 2007. He returned to the minors for a spell before making his next start on September 8th against the Toronto Blue Jays. He gave up his first runs in that game, as his stuff was outstanding, but hard to control, resulting in just 1 hit allowed, 6 strikeouts, but 7 walks in 3 1/3 innings; he left after loading the bases in the 4th, and all three runners eventually scored, the first runs charged to him as a major leaguer. Overall, he went 1-1, 3.07 in 6 starts and 29 1/3 innings.

He was then beset by injuries over the next two seasons, only making one start for the Yankees over the period, that coming in 2022; he gave up 4 runs in as many innings. He also made 6 starts for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre that season, going 0-3, 7.89 before being shut down and needing Tommy John surgery in May. In 2023, his only two appearances were on a rehabilitation assignment with the Low-A Tampa Tarpons of the Florida State League, and they totaled just 4 innings. Thus, it was a big surprise when he made the Yankees' opening day roster in 2024 after pitching well in spring training. He was helped by injuries to pitchers who had been expected to start the season in pinstripes, the most prominent of which was Cole. He made his first start on April 1st with 4 2/3 innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks during which he gave up just 1 run on 1 hit. His second start, on April 7th against the Blue Jays was also solid, with 4 1/3 innings pitched, 8 strikeouts and 2 runs allowed. The issue was that he struggled with his control, with 7 walks in the 9 innings, and needed a lot pitches as a result, preventing him from pitching deep into games. Walks continued to plague him in his next start, again against the Blue Jays on April 15th, as he allowed 7 free passes in 5 innings and was charged with a 3-1 loss. On April 21st, he earned his first win in almost three years with a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at New Yankee Stadium. He managed to get his pitches under control this time, allowing just 3 hits and 2 free passes in 5 2/3 innings and set a career high with 9 strikeouts. Everything came together for him on May 18th against the Chicago White Sox as he struck out 14 batters in 6 innings to set a new Yankees rookie record, ending up with a 6-1 win. He struck out seven consecutive batters at one point, and nine of ten, in breaking the previous record of 13 set by Orlando Hernandez in 1998. And, coincidentally, "El Duque" was on hand to throw the ceremonial first pitch before that day's game. On May 28th, he gave just one hit in 6 1/3 innings against the Seattle Mariners to improve his record to 6-1, 2.11, and earning a win in his fifth straight start. He was pitching so well that the Yankees could be careful with the injured Cole, not putting any pressure on him to return any faster than need be. He was the winner of both the American League Pitcher of the Month and Rookie of the Month awards for May.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Thomas Harrigan: "The breakout Yankee doing a spot-on Gerrit Cole impression", mlb.com, May 29, 2024. [1]
  • Bryan Hoch: "Yankees' Gil keeps his cool to earn first win in 3 years", mlb.com, April 21, 2024. [2]
  • Bryan Hoch: "With El Duque on hand, Gil breaks his Yankees rookie K mark", mlb.com, May 18, 2024. [3]
  • Bill Ladson: "Gil's MLB debut: 6 scoreless, W for Yankees", mlb.com, August 4, 2021. [4]
  • Bill Ladson: "Yankees' Gil follows May honors with gem to start June", mlb.com, June 5, 2024. [5]

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