Gerrit Cole’s career-lowest start raises red flags, says Insider

EW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 5: Pitcher Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees walks off the mound after the sixth inning of a game against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium on September 5, 2023 in New York City. The Yankees defeated the Tigers 5-1.
Rich Schultz/Getty Images via Google Licensed
Amanda Paula
Friday June 28, 2024

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Gerrit Cole is at the center of discussions regarding the Yankees’ earlier expectations of having him pitch tonight, with the possibility of making his third start of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Despite the Bombers’ disastrous losing streak, there’s concern about how much further Gerrit Cole can go in 2024. Fans and insiders wonder if his struggles are due to shaking off the rust after a long absence.

Gerrit Cole’s worst start raises corcerns

On June 25, 2024 Gerrit Cole made his lowest career-start, allowing 4 earned runs.

Thus far, people around baseball continue to analyze Gerrit Cole’s latest start, a four-inning disaster against the Mets on Wednesday. On this occasion, Gerrit Cole had his lowest start since joining New York: the ace gave up six earned runs on seven hits and four walks.

As per ESPN MLB Insider Tim Kurkjian, only one pitcher had pitched similar stat since 2020, and that player was Nate Robertson.

“That was concerning, to say the least. Four innings, four home runs, four walks, no strikeouts.” Tim Kurkjian said on the “Baseball Tonight” podcast published Friday.

What makes matters worse is that these numbers are associated with Gerrit Cole, one of the best pitchers in MLB.

“Cole is a strikeout pitcher. He is dominating. Even dominant pitchers give up home runs, but dominant pitchers always strike people out — that was the red flag for me, he didn’t strike anybody out. He’s not missing bats.”

Despite the red flag, Kurkjian still has faith in Gerrit Cole’s abilities. However, he said that it might be necessary to give Cole “several more starts” before truly panicking.

Gerrit Cole’s stats in 2024

Gerrit Cole in the Yankees dugout during an MLB game in 2024.

So far, Gerrit Cole has completed three rehab starts after a 1/2-month stint on the injured list with elbow inflammation. With solid performances in the minors, the Yankees star was thrust back into the rotation, partly out of need and partly because they prefer using Cole, even on a limited workload, in the majors.

Still, Gerrit Cole was battered Wednesday, with no home runs softer than 104 mph. While he touched 98.9 mph on his fastball, he throttled back his velocity average to 94 mph after a 28-pitch first inning,.

Overall, Gerrit Cole had five swings and misses on 72 pitches, a 7% mark that highlights his struggles. After lasting four innings and allowing two runs on five strikeouts in his first start on June 19, his Statcast page is a sea of blue, which isn’t a good sign. In three starts, he’s yielded an expected batting average of .304 and a slugging percentage of .683, much higher than even his worst season.

Up next

With Gerrit Cole possibly starting, the New York Yankees take on the Blue Jays in the second game of their series. The game will kick off at 7:07 PM EST this Friday.

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