Yankees: Optimism growing that Gerrit Cole’s injury isn’t season-ending

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees held their breath on Monday when Gerrit Cole was sent for an MRI due to elbow discomfort. Cole had struggled to rebound after making a single spring training start. The initial reaction was doom and gloom for Yankee fans, especially considering their World Series aspirations for the 2024 season.

Cole, coming off an AL Cy Young award-winning season, is expected to play a significant part in their equation. The MRI seems to be more precautionary than anything at this point, with strength testing showing positive results.

“All of the strength testing they do has been good,” Boone said. “His stuff and his command has been really good in his outings. He’s just having a hard time getting that fifth or sixth day. He’s not recovering like he’s accustomed to.

The Yankees Are Treating Cole With Increased Caution

If Cole had a serious injury that suggested season-ending surgery, his strength tests would be concerning and likely showcase a massive regression.

However, with everything checking out and his velocity looking solid during his lone start, there could be a slight problem with his elbow that requires a few weeks, if not months, of rehabilitation. At the very least, the Yankees will be happy if he doesn’t miss the entire year since they failed to bring in any premium starters this off-season to support the top end of the rotation.

Starting pitcher Nestor Cortes expressed his concern but that Cole understands his body and his actions are usually an indication of precautionary measures rather than reactionary ones.

“He’s a big part of this rotation. It’s tough to hear the news,” Cortes said, via MLB.com. “He’s so well aware of his body. He knows what he’s doing in and out throughout the whole year. … I feel like this is something that he’s trying to get ahead of. Obviously, it’s alarming for everybody. I know he’s been dealing with some stuff, as is every pitcher in Spring Training. I didn’t know how serious it was until now.”

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For now, there’s no information suggesting that Cole will miss the 2024 season, but rather try to get ahead of an injury that might’ve occurred if he wasn’t careful.

At this point, he was simply struggling to rebound from a start, feeling like he tossed 100 pitches in a regular-season game rather than 47 pitches in a Grapefruit League spring training performance. That certainly warranted some concern, but for now, we should remain optimistic.

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