Yankees’ ace receives news that the UCL is intact, will avoid Tommy John Surgery and miss around 1-2 months

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
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Gerrit Cole’s health for the 2024 season was going to define the New York Yankees’ championship odds, and they can finally let out a sigh of relief. The right-hander was dealing with elbow soreness, and there was concern that his UCL could have had a tear. Any tear on the UCL usually results in Tommy John Surgery, which would knock you out for a year and a half. Fear among those in the organization was that in an all-in season, the Yankees might have lost their most indispensable player before Opening Day.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post is reporting that the reigning AL Cy Young Winner will avoid Tommy John Surgery, as Dr. ElAttrache determined that the UCL was still intact.

Gerrit Cole Could Return to the Yankees Before the All-Star Break

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

When you visit Dr. ElAttrache in Los Angeles, you’re expecting to hear news of some sort of surgery, as he’s one of the top surgeons on the planet, operating on some of the most high-profile athletes in the world. The right-hander wanted to know exactly what was wrong with his UCL, and it was the right move to fly out west and make sure that everything in the UCL was intact. His confirmation of such a thing is massive news for the New York Yankees, who could get the right-hander back in the next two months.

There is no replacing Gerrit Cole, who took home his first-ever American League Cy Young, posting a 2.63 ERA and 5.2 fWAR across 209 innings for the Bronx Bombers. It was a season to forget for the 2023 Yankees, but one that could help the 33-year-old right-hander get into the Hall of Fame one day. For now however, the news that they can get their ace back before the All-Star Break is massive, especially given the struggles they’ve had with health and consistency in the starting rotation.

As for the likes of Carlos Rodon, Marcus Stroman, and Nestor Cortes, the Yankees will need to hope that they can step up and provide reliable innings. The upside there is obvious, all three of these pitchers have made the All-Star game within the last two seasons, and the Yankees’ bullpen can make up a lot of innings and make for a dominant pitching staff. The question mark that presents the most uncertainty however is in what their fifth starter can provide in Cole’s absence.

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
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Will Warren, Clayton Beeter, Luke Weaver, Luis Gil, and Cody Poteet are all potential options that the Yankees could go to in Gerrit Cole’s absence, and the 40-man roster isn’t a concern in this case. Gerrit Cole may find himself on the 60-day IL as the team takes his recovery slow and tries to ensure that he’s progressing the way he needs to. If he does, the Yankees would play 55 games without Cole in the rotation, and that would mean missing about 11 starts, and this also means that they get another spot on their 40-man roster.

This opens the door for a promotion of a pitcher not currently on the 40-man, or it means they could sign someone on the free agent market, although it won’t be Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery. There are plenty of cases to be made for the various depth starters on their roster, but they’ll have to step up and provide solid innings to keep the Yankees afloat alongside the veterans improving from their previous down seasons, which for Carlos Rodon, shouldn’t be hard at all given how bad he was last year.

Not having Gerrit Cole is subpar, but his UCL remaining intact is a massive sigh of a relief for the New York Yankees and their World Series aspirations.

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