Yankees' Gerrit Cole Set to Make First Start of Season vs. Orioles

The top team in baseball gets its ace back.
Mar 29, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole smiles during batting practice
Mar 29, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole smiles during batting practice / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The best team in Major League Baseball is getting its ace back.

On Monday, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone told "Talkin' Yanks" that reigning AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole would be making his return on Wednesday against the Baltimore Orioles and lefty Cade Povich. Cole hasn't made a start this season after being diagnosed with nerve irritation and edema in his throwing elbow back in March.

This development comes at a tremendous moment for the Yankees. They have won 50 games this season, best in MLB, but Baltimore is hot on their heels and New York holds only a 1.5 game lead in the AL East. Coming off a disappointing series against the rival Boston Red Sox, the Yankees need to build some momentum to keep the Orioles behind them. Cole can certainly deliver that.

A large part of the reason this team was first to reach 50 wins was due to the collective efforts of the pitching staff after Cole went down. The Yanks as a whole boast a 2.88 ERA, the top mark in the AL, but teams can only tread water for so long without their top arms. New York has to be pleased with the depth its has shown through the opening months of the season, but Cole represents welcome reinforcement.

The elite righty went 15-4 last season with a 2.63 ERA en route to his Cy Young victory. He looked like his old self during a rehab start on Saturday, striking out 10 batters in only 4.1 innings pitched for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

Cole will be on the mound for the second contest of the New York's three-game homestand against the Orioles. The series will kick off on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. ET with Nestor Cortes on the mound for the Yankees.


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Liam McKeone

LIAM MCKEONE

Liam McKeone is a senior writer for the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in May 2024, McKeone worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, he is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books and video games. McKeone has been a member of the National Sports Media Association since 2020.