Yankees icon reveals Gerrit Cole needs a quality rehab start, two weeks more

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is with Sparky Lyle at TD Bank Ballpark on June 10, 2024.

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Gerrit Cole‘s second rehab start on Sunday saw him pitching 4 2/3 innings for the Double-A Somerset Patriots. He topped 96 mph and his 44 of 57 pitches went for strikes.

In the crowd at TD Bank Ballpark, there was a special guest — Sparky Lyle, the legendary former manager of the Somerset Patriots and only relief pitcher with a Cy Young award — to witness Gerrit Cole’s rehab. He shared a moment with the Yankees ace after the game.

Following the meeting between two Yankees’ Cy Young winners, Lyle informed reporters that Gerrit Cole would like to see a more dominant and extended outing first and it was estimated that the ace pitcher was likely two weeks away from rejoining the Yankees’ rotation.

“I think Cole needs to have a quality rehab start and show everyone, ‘I am Cy Young,’” the Yankees great said. “I’d say he’s probably two weeks away.”

At nearly 80 years old, Lyle, who currently serves as the Patriots’ manager emeritus, occasionally makes the 85-mile journey from his home in King of Prussia to attend games and interact with fans. The Patriots, formerly an independent Atlantic League powerhouse, now serve as the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate.

Gerrit Cole’s slow start

The 2023 AL Cy Young winner, had a slow start in his outing but finished strong, allowing a first-inning solo homer and a single over 4 2/3 innings. During the late innings of the Patriots’ 4-2 victory over Hartford, Gerrit Cole addressed reporters before meeting with Lyle in a makeshift press conference room.

The two Cy Young winners shook hands and exchanged insights on pitching. Lyle praised Gerrit Cole’s strong finish, which featured a series of impressive fastballs.

“I thought he looked pretty good,” Lyle said. “He was just throwing ‘get me over fastballs’ in the beginning where they when the guy hit the ball out. But the last two innings he had some hop on his ball. He was letting it go a little more.”

The Yankees rotation leader, who retired the last eight batters he faced, responded to Lyle’s compliment, noting his satisfaction with hitting his targets effectively.

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole pitches in his second rehab for the Patriots at TD Bank Ballpark on June 10, 2024.
Madison Slattery

The meeting between Lyle, who won the American League Cy Young in 1977 as a Yankees reliever, and Gerrit Cole underscored the rich history of the Yankees organization and highlighted the importance of the Somerset Patriots’ affiliation with the storied franchise.

Gerrit Cole engaged in a candid discussion with Yankees legend Sparky Lyle on Sunday. He, recovering from spring elbow inflammation, increased his pitch count to 57 after throwing 43 pitches in his previous outing last Tuesday.

During their conversation, Gerrit Cole attributed the hard-hit balls early in the game to occasionally starting with “the junk.” Lyle, however, felt the ace had a productive outing overall. He observed that Gerrit Cole was initially throwing “get-me-over fastballs,” which led to a solo home run, but noted that in the last two innings, his pitches had more “hop” and he was throwing with greater velocity.

Gerrit Cole’s fastball velocity ranged from 92-94 mph in the first three innings, with two-thirds of his pitches comprising cutters, curves, sliders, and changeups. In the fifth inning, he increased his velocity, consistently throwing 95-96 mph and striking out two batters consecutively before being taken out.

Looking ahead, Gerrit Cole anticipates making a third rehab start next week, either for Double-A Somerset at Binghamton or Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Rochester. After that, he and the Yankees will determine if a fourth start is needed before he can rejoin the major league rotation.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

One thought on “Yankees icon reveals Gerrit Cole needs a quality rehab start, two weeks more

  1. You guys really need to fact check…there are 3-4 maybe more relief pitchers to win Cy young…eric gagne and Dennis eckersly off the top of my head

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