Gerrit Cole Provides Airtight Reasoning for Working Out in Full Pinstripes

Gerrit Cole simulated everything, down to the threads, in a practice session on Tuesday afternoon.
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New York Yankees All-Star pitcher Gerrit Cole, who has not played this season due to an elbow injury, threw live batting practice on Tuesday, a good step in the direction of getting back on the mound for a real start at some point in the next few months.

Cole was shut down in spring training after he started one game when he noticed he wasn't recovering as quickly as he should be. He was diagnosed later with nerve inflammation.

For a live batting practice session, he suited up in full pinstripes—pants and jersey—to feel what it would really be like to be back pitching in front of the home crowd of the Bronx. His reasoning?

"Because I miss it," he told Bryan Hoch.

Tough to argue with that. Cole, aside from his rookie season, has never missed the start of a year, and the last time he didn't play through May was when the start of games was delayed in 2020 due to the pandemic. In the meantime, Cole has been a noticeable presence in the dugout, giving his fellow pitchers advice based on what he's seeing from the dugout.

Cole also revealed he got up to 96 miles per hour in his Tuesday practice session, and admitted pitching coach Matt Blake told him to slow it down. The team needs to balance its excitement for getting its ace back while keeping him from putting himself in harm's way.

While the Yankees miss their best pitcher on the bump, they've performed well in his absence, and that likely buys them time to be as patient as possible. Luis Gil backfilled him in the rotation and has the best ERA among starting pitchers. Even their three worst pitchers in terms of ERA have put forth several quality starts each. The biggest issue the Yankees may soon have is figuring out who gets cut from the rotation when Cole is back. That's a great problem to have.

The last sign for optimism? Cole said very explicitly that he wouldn't rule out a comeback in June.


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Josh Wilson

JOSH WILSON

Josh Wilson is the News Director of the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Before joining the SI team in 2024, Josh worked for FanSided in a variety of roles, most recently as Senior Managing Editor of the brand’s flagship site. He has also served as a general manager of Sportscasting, the sports arm of a startup sports media company, where he oversaw the site’s editorial and business strategy. Josh has a Bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the State University of New York at Cortland and a Master’s degree in accountancy from the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois. Josh loves a good nonfiction book and enjoys learning and practicing Polish. He lives in Chicago but was raised in Upstate NY. He spent most of his life in the Northeast and briefly lived in Poland where he ate an unhealthy amount of pastries for six months.