Double blow to Yankees pitching as another key arm injured amid Cole concerns

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While there is growing concern among the New York Yankees over a potential elbow injury to ace pitcher Gerrit Cole, another of their key arm got injured on Monday.

The Yankees’ pitching concerns intensified on Tuesday when their plan to have veteran right-hander Luke Weaver fill in for Gerrit Cole hit a snag. Weaver himself is now unavailable due to a stiff neck, further complicating the team’s rotation.

In light of this development, the starting role against the Blue Jays will now be filled by non-roster invitee Dennis Santana.

This news compounds the worries of Yankees fans who were already anxious about Cole’s elbow discomfort and Aaron Judge’s core soreness. The potential severity and long-term implications of these setbacks remain unclear at this point.

The Yankees’ choice to reveal Weaver’s injury via email after media sessions with both manager Aaron Boone and interim manager Brad Ausmus only served to heighten the sense of uncertainty surrounding the team’s overall health and readiness for the upcoming season.

Luke Weaver is at Yankees' spring training camp in Tampa on Feb. 18, 2024.
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As the afternoon progressed, reports surfaced regarding a potential injury to one of the Yankees’ pitchers, further compounding the team’s troubles. While details about the injury were limited, these concerns added to the challenges the Yankees face in finding a suitable replacement for Gerrit Cole in the starting rotation.

Although young pitchers Clayton Beeter and Will Warren have shown promise during spring training, the Yankees considered Luke Weaver as the leading internal candidate to fill the role of an additional starting pitcher, should the need arise early in the season, which commences on March 28th in Houston.

During the offseason, the Yankees looked past Weaver’s 2023 statistics when evaluating his potential. Despite posting a high 6.40 ERA over the course of 29 appearances (25 starts) for three different teams, the Yankees recognized value in his overall pitching arsenal. This belief in his abilities, beyond his recent numbers, is evidenced by their decision to offer him a guaranteed contract.

Although Luke Weaver endured a challenging 2023 season, posting a worrisome 6.40 ERA over 29 appearances for three different teams, the Yankees saw a glimmer of potential in the right-hander. They claimed him off waivers in September and were encouraged by his strong performance in the final weeks of the season. Across three starts, spanning 13.1 innings, Weaver recorded a much more respectable 3.38 ERA, showcasing his ability to rebound.

Yankees are hit hard by Cole’s injury

Gerrit Cole, the ace of the New York Yankees pitching staff, opted to skip a scheduled spring training game last week in favor of participating in live batting practice. This decision heightened anticipation among fans and analysts alike for his eventual return to game action in his upcoming start.

However, on Monday, the Yankees delivered some unexpected and worrying news regarding their star pitcher. Cole has been experiencing soreness in his elbow following his throwing sessions this spring. As a result of this discomfort, his scheduled start against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday has been canceled. In an effort to determine the cause of the issue and exercise caution, Cole underwent an MRI on Monday. The results of this examination will provide insight into whether this is a minor setback for Cole or a more significant concern for the Yankees’ pitching staff as they prepare for the upcoming season.

Yankees ace pitcher Gerrit Cole pitched a complete shutout game in Toronto on Sept. 27, 2023.
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The Yankees’ otherwise successful day was overshadowed by news that broke early Monday morning. Manager Aaron Boone revealed that Aaron Judge, the team’s superstar slugger, would be sidelined for the next two games due to core soreness. This setback was particularly disappointing given Judge’s hefty annual salary of $40 million, which underscores his importance to the team.

Despite the concerning news about Judge, the Yankees managed to secure victories in both of their split-squad games later that day. They emerged victorious against the Phillies, winning 2-1 in Clearwater, and also defeated the Blue Jays 5-3 in Tampa. However, the positive momentum generated by these wins was short-lived.

Players of the new york yankees, gerrit cole and aaron judge.
MLB

With the high-profile acquisition of Juan Soto and a pressing need for pitching depth, the Yankees made the decision to give Weaver another chance to prove himself. Recognizing his potential, they negotiated a team-friendly one-year contract worth $2.5 million, which included performance-based incentives. The deal also featured a club option for the 2025 season, potentially extending the commitment to a two-year, $8.25 million agreement. This move underscores the Yankees’ belief in Weaver’s ability to bounce back and their commitment to bolstering their pitching rotation for the upcoming season.

The New York Yankees’ pitching staff faces mounting concerns as the start of the regular season approaches. Luke Weaver, a veteran pitcher who was initially considered a potential fill-in starter, has struggled in spring training, mirroring his performance from the 2023 season. In three appearances, including one start, Weaver has allowed four runs over 5 1/3 innings, resulting in a worrisome 6.75 ERA.

The Yankees are expected to provide an update on Weaver’s neck injury on Tuesday. Given the nature of the issue, a quick recovery wouldn’t be surprising.

On a more positive note, manager Aaron Boone anticipates that Aaron Judge will return to the lineup on Wednesday. However, it’s important to keep in mind that core soreness can sometimes persist, so Judge’s status will need to be closely monitored.

The most pressing concern for the Yankees revolves around Gerrit Cole. His return to the mound will depend on the results of his MRI and potentially consultations with additional medical specialists. Manager Boone addressed the situation, stating, “We’re conducting an MRI to assess things. Hopefully, we’ll get positive news.” The Yankees fanbase is eagerly awaiting these results, as Cole’s health is paramount to the team’s pitching rotation and their chances of success in the upcoming season.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

2 thoughts on “Double blow to Yankees pitching as another key arm injured amid Cole concerns

  1. The problem is not so much the injuries, but I’m more old school, and non of my starters are ready for the start of the season in innings or pitches. Name me a pitcher who is ready to go even 5?

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