Gerrit Cole set to return on June 1 Yankees game against Giants

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is signing autographs for fans at Minute Maid Park, Houston, on March 28, 2024.

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New York Yankees fans can breathe a sigh of relief as star pitcher Gerrit Cole sets his sights on a June 1 return, according to New York Post reporter Jon Heyman.

Gerrit Cole’s absence began with a recent placement on the 60-day injured list due to elbow inflammation, as reported by ESPN. The 33-year-old’s spring training participation was limited, with just one Grapefruit League start under his belt. Unfortunately, that outing proved shaky, with the Yankees ace surrendering three earned runs in only two innings pitched.

Following this lone appearance, Gerrit Cole participated in a simulated game six days later. However, this was followed by a period of sidelining for further evaluation of his elbow.

Manager Aaron Boone shed light on the situation during a March 11 press conference, as reported by MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. Boone revealed that Gerrit Cole was encountering difficulties recovering between starts. The six-time All-Star himself described the feeling as similar to the fatigue experienced after throwing 100 pitches in a regular-season game.

While June 1st serves as the target date, Gerrit Cole’s return will depend on his continued progress during rehabilitation. This news offers a more optimistic timeline for the Yankees’ ace, suggesting his absence may not be as significant as initially feared.

Yankees brace for Gerrit Cole’s absence

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newsday

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is currently out of action following his elbow injury. However, the latest news provides a more optimistic outlook for the team, initially facing a potentially lengthy absence from their star pitcher.

Gerrit Cole’s absence stems from a recent placement on the 60-day injured list due to elbow inflammation. Just five days after the news broke, the Yankees ace confirmed via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch that he would be taking a “three to four week” break from throwing. Gerrit Cole acknowledged that the team likely “pushed things a little too hard, too quickly” during spring training.

This throws a wrench into the Yankees’ pitching rotation, especially considering Gerrit Cole’s dominant performance in the 2023 season. His stellar record of 15-4, coupled with a 2.63 ERA and an impressive 222 strikeouts, solidified his position as the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner.

While the Yankees managed to secure a thrilling 5-4 Opening Day victory over the Astros, starting pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr. struggled on the mound. This only emphasizes the importance of Gerrit Cole’s return to bolster the pitching staff. The Yankees, aiming to build upon a somewhat disappointing 82-80 record from 2023 and return to the postseason, recognize that a healthy Gerrit Cole is vital for their AL East championship aspirations.

Although a June 1st return is the target, it’s crucial to remember that this timeline hinges on Gerrit Cole’s continued progress during his rehabilitation. However, this update offers a significant sigh of relief for Yankees fans, suggesting a potentially shorter absence for their ace pitcher.

Cortes battles inconsistency in Opening Day victory

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AP

Nestor Cortes Jr., thrust into the Opening Day spotlight due to Gerrit Cole’s absence, experienced an up-and-down outing against the Houston Astros. Known for his dependability, Cortes Jr. initially struggled to find his groove, as highlighted by MLB Insider Bryan Hoch’s tweet mentioning four surrendered earned runs.

However, Cortes Jr. displayed his trademark resilience by retiring 12 of the final 13 batters he faced. This late-game dominance showcased his grit but also underscored existing inconsistencies in his pitching.

While Cortes Jr. didn’t factor into the win-loss decision, he allowed four runs on five hits and two walks across five innings. Despite collecting five strikeouts, the outing mirrored his previous start – five innings pitched, five hits allowed, two walks, five strikeouts, and a surrendered home run. These performances fall short of the dominance fans have come to expect from Cortes Jr.

The Astros capitalized on Cortes Jr.’s early vulnerability, plating three runs in the first inning followed by a solo homer from Jake Meyers in the second. Despite the rocky start, Cortes Jr. dug deep, retiring the majority of batters he faced later in the game. This resulted in a no-decision as the Yankees clawed their way back for a 5-4 victory.

The Yankees, anticipating a resurgence from Cortes Jr. following his limited 12 starts last season where he compiled a 5-2 record with a 4.97 ERA, are hoping for an improvement in his consistency. The left-hander is tentatively scheduled for his next outing in a road matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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