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Why Yankees’ Luis Gil isn’t making scheduled start against Guardians this weekend

CLEVELAND — Yankees right-hander Luis Gil was lined up to pitch on Saturday, his sixth day after his start at Yankee Stadium last weekend.

So why isn’t the electric arm slated to start in either of the Yankees’ two games against the Guardians at Progressive Field in Cleveland, a doubleheader after Friday’s rainout?

There are a few moving parts within the pitching staff, but the explanation shouldn’t be too complicated to understand.

The Yankees can add a 27th player to their active roster for a doubleheader, a chance to promote an asset from Triple-A without needing a corresponding move.



That player on Saturday will be right-hander Cody Poteet. He is expected to start Game 2 of the doubleheader, following Clarke Schmidt, who gets the ball in the opener. Schmidt was originally scheduled to pitch on Friday night.

By choosing two other arms instead of Gil — who is available out of the bullpen throughout the twin bill just in case, per manager Aaron Boone ­— the Yankees are making sure that they don’t need to call up a spot starter during this six-game road trip.

Left-hander Nestor Cortes is penciled in to start in Sunday’s series finale against Cleveland, with Carlos Rodón and Marcus Stroman to follow against the Blue Jays to begin next week. Gil will factor into that series in Toronto, either starting on Monday or Wednesday. An off day before the Yankees’ subsequent homestand on Thursday would then give the Yankees a chance to reset their staff and get ready for Schmidt’s next turn.

“Today is his day,” Boone explained with Gil, “so he’s gonna be available out of the ‘pen in case anything crazy were to happen. Or I might use him in a big inning even. If that’s the case then he’ll slide into the back of the Blue Jays series. Or possibly, if I don’t use him today, then I’ll probably start him Monday in Toronto.”

Had the Yankees rolled with Gil and Schmidt on Saturday, using Cortes, Rodón and Stroman over the following three days, a starter would’ve been required for Wednesday afternoon in Toronto. In that case, they would’ve needed to call up a fresh arm and demote someone to Triple-A (or designate them for assignment).

Poteet signed with the Yankees this past offseason in free agency. He had an outside shot to break camp with the club this spring, but fell back in that competition as Gil and top pitching prospects Will Warren and Clayton Beeter shined. Giving up eight earned runs to the Tigers in his final Grapefruit League outing didn’t help either.

The right-hander has pitched well to begin the season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Over two short starts, totaling 8 1/3 innings, Poteet has a 2.16 ERA.

Beeter, who is lined up to pitch on Saturday for the RailRiders, was also considered to start Game 2 in Cleveland. Boone said the Yankees ended up settling on Poteet because he “has earned that spot right now.”

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Max Goodman may be reached at

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