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All-Star Pitcher Will Come Off IL, Start Wednesday Against Orioles

Gerrit Cole will be the starting pitcher for the New York Yankees on Wednesday against the Baltimore Orioles, Aaron Boone told Talkin’ Yanks on Monday. The Yankees have confirmed Nestor Cortes and Luis Gil as their starting pitchers for games Tuesday and Thursday, leaving Cole to be reinstated from the 60-day injured list to start Wednesday’s game. While shifting his assignment from Double-A Somerset to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, Cole delivered a gem in his third rehab outing Friday, striking out ten over 4 1/3 innings while allowing one unearned run on two hits and no walks.

Gerrit Cole to Start Wednesday’s Game Against the Orioles

Cole underwent an MRI on March 11 after relaying difficulty bouncing back between his spring outings. The right-hander likened his level of fatigue to what he usually would feel after throwing 100 pitches during the season. He had more testing performed on March 12, then visited Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on March 14. ElAttrache confirmed that there was no damage to Cole’s UCL.

Cole made three rehab starts in the Yankees’ minor league system after beginning the year on the 60-day injured list. In 12 2/3 innings, Cole allowed one earned run, good for a 0.73 ERA. He struck out 19 batters without a walk while holding opposing hitters to a .136 batting average. But the most important thing about Cole’s last start was that his pitch count was 70. The right-hander threw 45 pitches and 57 pitches in his first two rehab starts, so he is getting built up. He figures to be a on a pitch limit on Wednesday.

“I guess it’s part of (the decision) just because he’s not entirely built up obviously. But whatever way we go, I feel like we’re in a good position to handle that,” Boone said this past weekend. “There’s a lot of good and smart people involved. I think we’ve all done a really nice job so far in his buildup and getting him ready. So we’ll have those conversations honestly and openly and Gerrit right involved  in that.”

The Yankees Rotation Has Been Stellar Without Cole

The absence of Cole hasn’t bothered the Yankees rotation this season. Every starter currently owns a 3.60 ERA or lower. Carlos Rodón and Marcus Stroman have been great but the biggest surprise has been Gil, who owns a 2.06 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 80 innings.

The Orioles, meanwhile, come into this week’s three-game series just 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees. Cole seems to be coming back to the rotation for the right series. In 2023, Cole won his first career Cy Young Award, pitching a 2.63 ERA with 222 strikeouts in 209 innings.

Main Photo: © Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports


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