Yankees could place star pitcher on 60-day injured list to open roster spot

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at New York Yankees
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The Yankees are still working on thinning out the roster ahead of the regular season, and with a few spring training games still left over, the team should have their active roster ironed out within the next few days. However, if they need an extra slot on the 40-man, they have contemplated the idea of placing star pitcher Gerrit Cole on the 60-day injured list.

This would keep Cole out for a minimum of 60 days, having picked up nerve inflammation in his throwing elbow. Fortunately, some of the best doctors on earth have concluded that Cole doesn’t need Tommy John surgery but rather rest and rehabilitation over the next few weeks. Cole had been complaining about difficulty bouncing back after his lone spring training start, comparing it to what a regular season start would feel like after tossing 100 innings.

The Yankees Aren’t Taking Any Risks With Gerrit Cole

Cole is known for his ability to diagnose issues with his body and get ahead of issues, so this could’ve avoided a much more catastrophic situation, which would have saved the Yankees some stress down the road. The hope is that Cole will be back in a few months, ramping up and getting back to 100% without missing a beat, but that is easier said than done.

Complications can pop up at any time, but Cole won’t start throwing again until he’s 100% sure that his elbow can handle the workload.

In the meantime, Cole won’t let his arm die, keeping it active and prepared for the eventual ramp-up. Now 33 years old, the Yankees’ ace is coming off an AL Cy Young award-winning season, tossing 209 innings with a 2.63 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 80.4% left-on-base rate, and 39.6% ground ball rate. Despite his strikeouts dropping, he gave up only 0.86 runs per nine, his lowest since 2018.

The Bombers need Cole ready and available if they want to win a World Series, so the team will be hoping to survive until his eventual return, meaning the offense will have to step up significantly in his absence.

However, to protect a young player or a potential reserve piece, the 40-man roster spot could be valuable, and the Yankees aren’t afraid to put Cole on the injured list to manage the team a bit more efficiently.

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