Boone urges Gerrit Cole ‘to be patient’ as Yankees struggle to brave his absence

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole with manager Aaron Boone at Tampa in March 2024.

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Faced with unexpected elbow discomfort, an unusual occurrence for the typically resilient Gerrit Cole, the ace pitcher has not made any public statements this week. Boone, who has been managing road games for the past two days, had brief interactions with the pitcher on both Monday and Tuesday. These encounters provided a glimpse into Gerrit Cole’s mindset during this challenging time.

Boone described Gerrit Cole as handling the situation with poise, recognizing the current uncertainty surrounding his elbow. The manager emphasized the importance of making the most well-informed decision possible. While navigating this challenge requires patience, Boone stressed the need to prioritize the best course of action for the long-term health and well-being of the Yankees ace.

“He’s handling it,” the Yankees manager said. “Right now, it’s such that uncertainty as you try and get your arms around what exactly is going on in there, waiting for everyone to weigh in. We’re talking about the elbow and you just want to make sure you get it right and make the best decision. I’m sure the uncertainty is difficult, but he’s just got to be patient right now.”

Waiting game for Yankees on Gerrit Cole’s elbow

Gerrit Cole, player of the New York Yankees
Thomas A. Ferrara/Newsday RM

The atmosphere was thick with anticipation as the Yankees, haunted by injury to Gerrit Cole, prepared to face the Blue Jays at TD Ballpark. On Tuesday morning, manager Aaron Boone, his eyes hidden behind sunglasses, addressed the media gathered in the dugout.

All attention was focused on Gerrit Cole, the Yankees’ ace and the reigning AL Cy Young winner. An MRI had been performed on his right elbow the previous day due to concerns about his recovery following recent spring training appearances, leaving everyone eagerly awaiting the results.

Boone’s initial statement provided little in terms of updates: “I don’t have any news on Gerrit for you yet,” he declared, eliciting a muted chuckle from the assembled journalists in Dunedin, Florida. Both the media and undoubtedly the entire Yankees organization are anxiously awaiting any information regarding Gerrit Cole’s health status.

Although the results of Monday’s MRI have not yet been disclosed, manager Aaron Boone shared that Gerrit Cole underwent further tests on his elbow on Tuesday. This thorough approach, as Boone explained, is to ensure that “all bases are covered.” He cautioned that obtaining a complete understanding of the situation might take a few days, but expressed hope for a favorable outcome.

Yankees face uncertain start to season without Cole

Aaron Boone, the manager of the New York Yankees
AP

The Yankees‘ season opener is overshadowed by uncertainty as the team grapples with the health concerns surrounding Gerrit Cole. With a decision on his course of action still pending, it becomes increasingly apparent that he may miss the early weeks, or possibly even months, of the regular season.

Even if the MRI results bring positive news, Gerrit Cole remains unable to throw. He was scheduled to pitch on Tuesday, which would have been one of his three planned spring training starts before Opening Day. However, with the season opener against the Astros in Houston just two weeks away and Gerrit Cole’s most recent live session limited to only 50 pitches, the chances of him being ready to take the mound on March 28 are slim.

Within the Yankees organization, discussions have already begun to identify a potential replacement for Gerrit Cole in the starting rotation. Manager Aaron Boone expects to provide an update on this critical decision within the coming days, as the team works to adapt to the unexpected setback and ensure they have a solid plan in place for the start of the season.

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