New York Yankees


New York Yankees' Pitcher Gerrit Cole (left) & Texas Rangers' Pitcher Max Scherzer at the 2023 World Series (right)


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New York Yankees’ Pitcher Gerrit Cole (left) & Texas Rangers’ Pitcher Max Scherzer at the 2023 World Series (right)

After securing his first MLB Cy Young Award in 2023, New York Yankees‘ workhorse Gerrit Cole looked forward to helping the Bronx Bombers make a deep playoff run in 2024.

As fate would have it, the 33-year-old star righty from Newport Beach, California made only one 2024 spring training start.

Cole encountered right elbow nerve inflammation that landed him on the 60-day injured list. That same fate, however, opened the door for another unforeseen stroke of good luck.

Surprise contributor Luis Gil has filled in fabulously in Coles’ absence—to the tune of a 7-1 record/1.99 ERA as of June 4, 2024.

Be that as it may, with Cole having a dominant type performance in his first rehab start tonight at Double-A Somerset, the Yankees—who lead all of baseball in ERA—will likely have to make room for the big dog perhaps sooner than expected.

Let’s take a look at Cole’s performance/immediate future and update another big-name pitcher on the mend in Texas Rangers’ Max Scherzer.


Cole Happy With ‘Really Everything’

“I thought it was really fun overall”

Gerrit Cole discusses his first rehab start for Somerset tonight and said he was happy with “really everything”

Gerrit Cole took the mound with a restriction of 40-50 pitches. His night was finished after 45.

Gerrit tallied 34 strikes in three and one-third scoreless innings. Cole Train surrendered two hits while striking out five, exiting to a lively ovation.

The twice Cy Young runner-up (finished top-five in voting six times overall) threw his entire assortment of pitches and topped out in the upper 90s with his fastball.

When asked about what he was pleased with, Cole told SNY, “Really Everything. I threw all my pitches for strikes.”

“I was able to move the ball to both sides of the plate and get the top and bottom of the strike zone.”

Altogether, Cole seemed positive about the session and experience saying, “It was really fun overall,” per SNY.


What’s Next for the Yankee #1?

After the game, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said they anticipated “at least a few”rehab starts according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic.

Boone previously stated in an MLB.com piece that they were prepared to let the situation play itself out on when Cole would be considered ready to return to New York.

“It just depends. Do we want to bring him in a situation where he’s at 60, 65, 70 pitches?” Boone said this past weekend about Cole’s rehab stint. “Do we want him to have one more (rehab start)? We’ll have a better feel for that, and certainly, Gerrit will have a better feel for that as he now goes and starts pitching in games.”

“I try not to get ahead of myself with it,” Boone said. “Let’s just keep checking boxes, keep moving the needle. Ever since he got shut down, I feel like it’s moved in a good direction the whole way. It’s just about continuing to move toward that point,” wrote MLB.com

Gerrit Cole was asked if he feels like he’s close to returning:

“Definitely close. I’m not sure how many more we’ll need but definitely closer rather than farther away. It should be right around the corner here”

When asked for his view on when he might be ready for his 2024 regular season MLB debut, Cole undoubtedly has Yankee Nation stoked with this reply.

“Definitely close. I’m not sure how many more we’ll need but definitely closer rather than farther away. It should be right around the corner here,” per SNY.


The $43 Million Man Seeks His Return

On the same day that Gerrit Cole made his first appearance in 63 days, Texas Rangers’ pitcher Max Scherzer—who will turn 40 on July 27, 2024—tossed batting practice to much less fanfare than Cole.

The last time we saw the 3-time Cy Young Award and 2-time World Series winner was in the 2023 ALCS and World Series. Scherzer was rusty after returning early from a right teres strain (shoulder) and later succumbed to a back issue that eventually derailed his upcoming campaign.

The Scott Boras client had surgery in December 2024 to overhaul a herniated disk in his back. The right-hander had one rehab start (52 pitches) in April 2024 at Triple-A Round Rock.

Max Scherzer’s first rehab start at Triple-A Round Rock is done.

– 2.1 IP
– 5 H
– 3 ER
– 4 K
– 0 BB

Surrendered two homers, fastball topped out at 93.8 MPH.

Scherzer was nixed from a second rehab start due to right thumb pain later diagnosed as a deep nerve issue connected to his right triceps that has kept him sidelined until today.


Scherzer’s Schedule Not Yet Defined

With what seemed like a guarded optimism, Max Scherzer had these quotes regarding his rehab timeline.

“Got to recover well from this,” Scherzer said. “Make sure my thumb is OK as I ramp back up into this. As long as I check that box, hopefully, I can get out there on rehab,” Scherzer told the AP.

“Given that I’ve been dealing with this (thumb injury) for over a year, I’ve got to see if all the new exercises are going to do something,”

All eyes were on the aging star as he managed 40 total pitches in the practice session. Along with manager Bruce Bochy,  pitching coach Mike Maddux, general manager Chris Young, and owner Ray Davis were in attendance.

As has been noted, Mad Max’s first official rehab start is still undecided. That said, Bochy gave the impression an announcement might not be far off.

“We’ll check on him tomorrow, a good chance he will start his rehab possibly,” Bochy said. “I think that’s the way it’s leaning right now,” per the AP.

Scherzer was 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA in eight starts for Texas before the September 2023 shoulder issue. A good portion of his hefty salary is still being paid by Steve Cohen and his New York Mets.

Scherzer’s name is already showing up in MLB trade deadline rumors despite his recent obstacles.

 

 

 



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