Gerrit Cole teaches milestone in batting practice, increases chances to start rehab game next week

Yankees' Gerrit Cole prior to an MLB game in 2023.

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Gerrit Cole, the esteemed pitcher for the New York Yankees and reigning AL Cy Young winner, continues his journey back from an elbow injury that has kept him sidelined since spring training. On Saturday, the Yankees manager Aaron Boone disclosed that there’s a possibility star pitcher Gerrit Cole could kick off a rehab stint as early as the upcoming week, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic.

Gerrit Cole’s promising return from injury

Gerrit Cole during a Yankees' training in 2024.
NY POST

Gerrit Cole showcased promising signs during a live batting practice session on Saturday, marking his second encounter with hitters since resuming his throwing regimen. While another live BP session might be in the cards, Boone hinted that initiating a rehab assignment is also under consideration. The right-hander will require several rehab starts before making his return to the Yankees‘ rotation, indicating he remains a few weeks away from game action, barring any setbacks.

Recently, at the Yankees’ player-development complex in Tampa, Cole reached a significant milestone by completing two full innings against minor-league hitters.

Expressing satisfaction with his progress, Gerrit Cole remarked, “We hit all our goals… We did exactly what we wanted to do today. Threw a lot of strikes, so pretty good.” Following this outing, he plans to face hitters again in approximately five days. This follows a recent session where he threw 20 pitches to teammates Oswaldo Cabrera and Jahmai Jones, marking a notable advancement in his recovery.

The setback occurred after just one spring start when Gerrit Cole experienced elbow discomfort, leading to a diagnosis of elbow nerve inflammation and edema. He was unable to resume mound work until May 5th.

Despite expressing optimism about a potential return to the rotation in June, Cole acknowledges the necessity of completing various benchmarks and likely undertaking a minor-league rehab assignment to regain game readiness.

Cole’s absence underscores the loss of a premier pitcher who has consistently performed at an elite level over nearly a decade. His impressive statistics, including a 3.11 ERA and a 5.19 strikeout-to-walk ratio over the last three seasons, highlight his dominance on the mound. Winning the Cy Young Award in the previous season, along with multiple top-tier finishes in previous years, further solidifies his status as one of the sport’s best.

However, the Yankees have persevered despite Cole’s absence, boasting one of the league’s top rotations thus far in the 2024 season. With a record of 36-17 and occupying the top spot in the AL East, they continue to excel, demonstrating resilience in the face of challenges.

As Cole progresses through his recovery, the Yankees remain focused on maintaining their momentum and securing success on the field. His eventual return will undoubtedly bolster their pitching staff and contribute to their pursuit of championship glory.

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