Gerrit Cole accepts fait accompli but vents frustration with the Yankees


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Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is at his best in the 2023 season with his most outstanding performance to date. However, the team has failed to capitalize on his success and hit its lowest ebb in the last 28 years. Though as part of the team Gerrit Cole seems to have accepted the bitter irony, he barely hides his frustration.

“From a personal level, you’re bummed for the guys that are injured,” Gerrit Cole was quoted saying by The New York Post. “You want to be out there and competing. So on a personal level, you feel for them. From a team aspect, nobody’s going to feel sorry for you. So it’s just like, you gotta make the best of it.”

Despite entering spring training with a rotation that held promise as one of the league’s finest, the Yankees have largely faltered. While the offense has largely been responsible for their descent below a .500 record, marking the first time since 2021, the pitching has also given up hit hard by injuries and inconsistency. Gerrit Cole is the only bright spot and his brilliance was visible both in All-Star and the Yankees game putting him as a strong contender for the Cy Young Award this year.

Gerrit Cole frustrated over the Yankees’ performance

At the outset of this year’s spring training, Gerrit Cole was queried about his aspirations and whether securing his inaugural Cy Young accolade was part of his ambitions. The Yankees ace quickly diverted his emphasis to his primary aspiration of securing a championship title.

However, after half a year has passed, Gerrit Cole finds himself and his team with contrasting fates. While he is approaching the conclusion of a Cy Young-caliber season, the continued slide of the Yankees and their struggle for a playoff berth dampens its significance.

An embittered Gerrit Cole spoke out that regardless of the team’s performance, his responsibility remains the same — to lead the Yankees’ rotation. However, he acknowledged that his Cy Young pursuit would likely hold even greater significance if the team’s fortunes were more favorable.

“Whether we’re winning or not winning, it’s still my job,” Cole said this week. “Probably more so [meaningful] if we were winning, honestly.”


Speaking from an individual perspective, Gerrit Cole expressed his disappointment to see his injured teammates, empathizing with their desire to be on the field and contributing to the competition. He acknowledged the personal sentiment underscoring their situation. However, the Yankees ace underlined the team’s collective perspective, acknowledging that external forces won’t sympathize with their challenges and failures. Gerrit Cole highlighted the need to remain resilient and maximize their efforts despite the adversity they face.

Gerrit Cole is only in the rotation to lead the charge

Heading into his upcoming start against the Red Sox on Saturday, Gerrit Cole has maintained an impressive 2.76 ERA across 25 starts spanning 156 ¹/₃ innings. He has consistently delivered on the expectations that come with his substantial $324 million contract, serving as a dependable presence on the mound every five days.

In contrast, the remaining members of the rotation were anticipated to receive a boost from former All-Stars such as Carlos Rodon, Luis Severino, Nestor Cortes, and Frankie Montas. However, a combination of injuries and lackluster performances has resulted in a disappointing outcome for this quartet. Collectively, they have contributed 32 starts and 158 innings, with a cumulative ERA of 6.66.

With the unpredictable nature of baseball always at play, Gerrit Cole feels that it is essential to maintain a balanced perspective, neither becoming overly optimistic nor overly discouraged.

“You just never know how baseball’s going to play out, you just never get too high and never get too low, he said. “It’s not over. And it wasn’t the greatest rotation of all time in spring training, either. You gotta find somewhere in the middle.”

Gerrit Cole’s reaction following the loss in Atlanta has led many Ynakees fans to harbor a fear that the ace may exercise the opt-out clause to leave the Bronx after 2024.

Cole as a mentor to Schmidt and young arms

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole at Yankee Stadium in 2023.

The injuries provided an opportunity for Clarke Schmidt to have an extended period in the rotation, which might not have been the case if not for his initial difficulties. Gerrit Cole, who has taken on a mentorship role for Schmidt, expressed satisfaction that the emerging right-hander had the opportunity to learn and grow from his challenges at the major league level.

Gerrit Cole referenced a sentiment often shared by John Smoltz, highlighting that the team hasn’t provided its players with the opportunity to face challenges, which can ultimately lead to growth and future success.

“John Smoltz says this all the time, we’re just not allowing our guys to fail at this level in order for it to pay dividends in the future,” he responded. “You just kind of rip the cord away. The situation that we’ve had with the injuries has not allowed the cord to have been ripped. Boy, are we grateful for that. Very grateful. In another scenario, it might have been different, yeah. Because you know how things go.”

Emerging talents Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez, the latter of whom is heading back to Triple-A following the imminent return of Rodon, have been given opportunities to showcase their abilities in the role of starting pitchers at the major league level. Gerrit Cole has been actively involved and supportive during their appearances. He was also with Severino earlier in the week.

In fact, Gerrit Cole was seen doing a coaching role, utilizing an iPad to review and discuss pitch strategies with Severino during breaks between innings.

Other than Gerrit Cole’s remarkable performance, the current state of the Yankees‘ rotation at this point in August is far from what had been anticipated. Nonetheless, the coaching staff has been genuinely impressed by his adept handling of the situation.

Pitching coach Matt Blake acknowledged that it was indeed frustrating for players like Gerrit Cole, who hold prominent roles within the team and might have expected stronger support for a more favorable playoff position. However, he commended the Yankees ace for his unwavering professionalism in this situation.

Despite the challenges, Gerrit Cole remains dedicated, assisting his teammates in overcoming their own difficulties and consistently maintaining a rigorous practice routine. According to Blake, his exceptional preparedness sets a standard for professionalism in the league.

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