Yankees receive great Gerrit Cole injury update

MLB: New York Yankees at Houston Astros
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees star pitcher Gerrit Cole is making significant strides in his rehabilitation, having recently completed his fifth bullpen session, during which he threw 40 pitches.

Currently, Cole is integrating fastballs and breaking balls into his repertoire, maintaining velocities in the low 90s. The focal point of his recovery remains his elbow, which has been healing efficiently. His regimen will soon advance to facing live hitters, a critical milestone as he works to regain his top pitching form, which in the past has seen his fastball reach triple digits.

Yankees Face Some Interesting Rotation Decisions

Yankees manager Aaron Boone highlighted the importance of Cole’s progress, noting the pitcher’s positive response after a rigorous bullpen session. Boone is optimistic about Cole’s steady improvement and the psychological boost that facing live batters will provide.

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

“We just want to continue to progress and continue to stack good days, and that’s another step along the way of getting out there on the bump and facing hitters. I’m sure there’s an added little adrenaline that goes with that. All important steps on his return.”

Despite Cole’s absence, the Yankees’ starting rotation has performed exceptionally well, presenting a dilemma for management upon his return. With six viable starters, including the emerging talents of Luis Gil and Clarke Schmidt, the team faces tough decisions regarding rotation adjustments. Some starters might transition to bullpen roles to accommodate Cole, whose return is crucial for the team’s strategy this season.

Cole, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, is coming off a season with a 2.63 ERA and a 3.16 FIP across 209 innings, boasting 9.56 strikeouts per nine innings. His exceptional performance last season, nearly matching his career-best year with the Houston Astros in 2019, underscores his value to the Yankees.

As the Yankees’ rotation remains one of the best in baseball, reintegrating a pitcher of Cole’s caliber could significantly bolster their pitching staff. With his recovery on track, a return in June is not just plausible but seems increasingly likely, providing a timely boost to the team’s campaign.

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