Yankees ace continues to progress in throwing program after throwing up to 120 feet

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The status of Gerrit Cole is one of the most important topics surrounding the Yankees and has been since it was reported he would undergo an MRI on his pitching elbow. While it was revealed that there was no tear in the UCL, there was still inflammation in a nerve, requiring him to be shut down for 1-2 months. His visit with Dr. Neal ElAttrache resulted in a similar conclusion; no surgery was needed. Those news were massive for the Bronx Bombers and their hopes of winning a World Series, and today they get another positive update on the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner.

It was reported that the Yankees had Gerrit Cole throw up to 120 feet today, and Aaron Boone is now telling reporters that he could get on a mound next week, although nothing has been set in stone, according to Gary Phillips of the New York Daily News.

Gerrit Cole Throws Up to 120 Feet, Yankees Might See Him on a Mound Next Week

MLB: New York Yankees at Houston Astros
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One thing needs to be made clear about Gerrit Cole’s rehab and timeline; nothing has been set in stone regarding a return date, but we do know that he cannot return any earlier than May 27th. The Yankees placed him on the 60-day IL, and regardless of your health status, teams cannot activate you until after those 60 days are up. Brian Cashman mentioned that he believed that Cole was going to need that time to rehabilitate anyway, so there is still a lot the right-hander needs to do to get into game action.

What is encouraging though is that he’s gotten up to 120 feet, as that’s typically the last progression in terms of distance before getting on a mound. Aaron Boone mentioned that it’s not definitive that the Yankees will try to get Gerrit Cole on a mound next week, as these things depend on how a pitcher rebounds and recovers from throwing. Thus far, he’s responded well to every throwing assignment given, but Cole will still need an entire ramp-up to get himself ready to face Major League hitters.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees
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The Yankees have gotten great production from their rotation, as they currently rank third in ERA (3.14) and after struggling to generate swings and misses early on, have struck out 26.6% of batters faced over the past two weeks. Luis Gil has had some learning moments on the mound, but his electric fastball has allowed him to attack hitters and put them away with ease when he’s throwing strikes. What Gerrit Cole will provide however is some relief for the bullpen, as he’s usually able to give the Yankees 6-7 innings per start.

Nestor Cortes has given the Yankees the most length thus far, but that’s been sandwiched in between some ugly outings, with some up-and-down performances from him early on. Still, the early signs have been encouraging for this rotation, as they’re top five in Stuff+ (106) from their starters, signifying that they can reliably put hitters away and generate ideal velocity and movement profiles.

It’s also expected that DJ LeMahieu will return to the team soon, as he’s expected to play around four games with the Somerset Patriots on his rehab assignment before coming back. Aaron Boone mentioned their road trip in Baltimore as a potential return timeline, although nothing has been set in stone.

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