New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole impressed fans in his first spring appearance in pinstripes.
He only pitched one inning, but the 29-year-old didn’t allow a hit. After the Pirates lead-off hitter popped out, Cole struck out two with a walk sandwiched in between.
The most impressive part of his outing was his velocity. It may only be February, but Cole lit up the radar, touching 98 mph. The two batters he struck out went down on three pitches, and the pop-up was on two pitches. He had trouble against the batter that he walked, putting him on first in just four pitches.
But it’s good for him to pitch with a little pressure with a runner on base. It also gives him a chance to throw a few from the stretch.
His outing lasted just 20 pitches for 12 strikes, but it was a good start. Cole has been facing his teammates in practice every day, so he’s stayed sharp. Each time he goes out in a game should be a more extended outing. His next time out, probably over the weekend, should be two innings or so.
The Yankees are split squad on Saturday, but both games are televised. One is on YES, the other on MLB Network. Hopefully, he can pitch on Saturday so fans can see him live for the first time. They aren’t on TV again until the following Tuesday (3/3) against Boston on YES and ESPN.
The Yankees are hoping that Monday is the start of an excellent season for Gerrit Cole. With a few early injuries to the rotation, the team needs him sharp to open the season in a month.