Yankees’ ace takes another big step forward in rehab

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
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New York Yankees SP Gerrit Cole continues to trend in the right direction in his rehab. On Saturday, the reigning AL CY Young Award winner tossed two simulated innings at Yankee Stadium prior to their afternoon matchup with the Chicago White Sox. Pitching coach Matt Blake reported that Cole’s velocity was clocked in the low 90s, signaling that the Yankees ace continues to progress well as he aims for a mid-June return.

Cole is Making Excellent Progress

Cole has been on the shelf with right elbow discomfort since early March. The hard-throwing right-hander had reported to the team that he was struggling to bounce back in between his starts like he normally would, prompting the Yankees to have their ace undergo a series of tests. After confirming there was no significant UCL damage, Cole began his long rehab to return to action.

The month of May has been a month of progress for Cole. On May 4, he began throwing from a mound for the first time since injuring his elbow during Spring Training. Cole also threw on May 7, May 11, and May 14, prior to Saturday’s appearance.

Despite the encouraging reports, the Yankees ace is still thought to be many weeks away from a potential return, as he is expected to need at least four to six weeks of ramp-up activities. The next step in Cole’s rehab could be facing hitters in live batting practice.

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
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Yankees’ Starters Have Stepped up

The Yankees starters have pitched very well despite Cole’s absence. Entering Friday’s matchup with the Chicago White Sox, the Yankees collective 3.12 ERA from their starting pitchers was the second-lowest mark in the AL and the third-lowest in the majors. Also, the Yankees’ 2.88 ERA collective era as a team ranks as the best in Major League Baseball.

It remains to be seen what the Yankees will do with their starting rotation upon Cole’s return. Who will be the odd man out? Will the Yankees utilize a six-man rotation? These questions will soon be answered as Cole continues to progress well. Fortunately for New York, they haven’t needed to rush the ace of their staff back, and adding last season’s AL CY Young Winner will only further bolster a rotation that has been amongst baseball’s best.

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