Yankees’ ace takes another big step forward in rehab

MLB: Minnesota Twins at New York Yankees
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees might be dealing with a Juan Soto injury situation, but there is light at the end of the tunnel regarding ace Gerrit Cole, who’s already pitched one rehab game and is looking to take the next step forward.

Fortunately, Soto’s imaging came back clean, and he doesn’t have any ligament damage, suggesting he will avoid any injury list spell. He should be ready to go against the Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend despite being left out of the lineup on Friday.

Gerrit Cole Gearing Up to Rejoin the Yankees

On the other hand, Cole is set to make his next rehab start on Sunday with Double-A Somerset against the Hartford Yard Goats, the Colorado Rockies’ Double-A affiliate. Cole made his first rehab appearance this past Tuesday, tossing 3.1 innings, allowing two hits, and picking up five strikeouts with zero runs allowed. Cole tossed 45 pitches, 34 of which were strikes, hitting in the mid-90s with his fastball.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees, gerrit cole
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Expect Cole to throw about 60 pitches on Sunday as he continues his ramp-up, with a third rehab assignment of around 75 pitches. At that point, the Yankees may recall him to the major league roster, finally getting him involved in a rotation that has been one of the best in baseball since his injury.

Cole is coming off a Cy Young award-winning season in 2023, tossing 209 innings, including a 2.63 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 9.56 strikeouts per nine, and 80.4% left on base rate and 39.6% ground ball rate. He has been elite for the Bombers over multiple seasons, and getting back one of their most talented pitchers will reinforce the roster.

The hope is that the second-year starter will return to the trade deadline over the summer, reinforcing the team and giving the Yankees plenty of options in the rotation.

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