Ground Breaking News for Yankees

The wait is over: Gerrit Cole will make his New York Yankees season debut against the Baltimore Orioles.

The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, who began the season on the disabled list due to nerve irritation and swelling in his right elbow, will return to the mound at Yankee Stadium following three rehab starts in Double-A and Triple-A.

Cole was dominating in his last appearance for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, giving up only one unearned run on two hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks in 4⅓ innings. Cole pitched 12⅓ innings, allowing only two runs (one earned) with 19 strikeouts and no walks.

The Yankees had classified their Wednesday starter as “TBA” until Sunday. Manager Aaron Boone stated that the club was deciding between Cole and Cody Poteet, but that the squad was not under any need to make a decision right now. Cole was expected to face the second-place Orioles, who are only 1½ games behind the Yankees in the AL East, in a crucial division series.

Cole, 33, will return just over three months after being shut down during spring training in mid-March. The diagnosis, while not the worst-case scenario, was viewed as a devastating blow to a team with World Series aspirations. Aside from Cole, the staff ace, there were concerns about the team’s starting pitching.


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However, the Yankees’ rotation has performed admirably in Cole’s absence, with the lowest ERA in the majors entering Monday. The group has been led by Luis Gil, Cole’s successor and early American League Rookie of the Year favorite. Despite leading the majors in walks, the 26-year-old right-handed pitcher is 9-1 with an AL-best 2.03 ERA in 14 starts.

Cole will take Poteet’s position in the rotation. Poteet started three games for the Yankees in place of Clarke Schmidt, who was placed on the injured list with a lat strain. In three outings, the right-hander gave up five runs (four earned) over 15 innings.

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