Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole (r.) speaks with Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner (l.) earlier in spring training. Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

The New York Yankees have been missing Gerrit Cole because of his right elbow injury in the Spring Training. He is their ace pitcher, and last year was amazing for him personally. It was a personal triumph but a “Global” disaster for Cole. He had his career-best season as he eventually won the American League Cy Young award. However, the Bronx Bombers failed to make the postseason for the first time since 2016. They finished with a horrible 82-80 record and in fourth place in their division. It was the worst season for the NY side in their last 30 years.

Hence, the team has been planning to redeem themselves in 2024. That’s why it was even more important for Gerrit Cole to stay healthy. But the ace pitcher has been out for more than a month, and he will take some more time to return to the rotation. In the meantime, his replacement, Luis Gil, has done a great job. So far, Gil has recorded the best ERA for the Yankees this season. Moreover, the team is doing well without their ace pitcher. Nevertheless, the Yankees await the return of the 2023 AL Cy Young winner. 


What Makes Gerrit Cole So Valuable For The Yankees?

Gerrit Cole, Yankees
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Gerrit Cole may not be playing in the lineup at present, owing to his right elbow injury. But Erik Boland of Newsday said that the Yankees ace has a desire to pay it forward. The 2023 AL Cy Young winner aims to set a great example for the other pitchers in the team. Boland feels that trait makes Cole an invaluable asset to the team. Even though the “Pitching Savant” is not able to make it to the starting lineup with injury, he has been a constant presence around his fellow pitchers. There is a good chance that he won’t play his first regular season game this year until July 1. But he is focusing real hard on his rehab at present. Moreover, people have noticed Gerrit Cole working hard with Luis Gil during his bullpen sessions. 

He has been doing hands on windup mechanics work with other pitchers as well. It is not new for the Yankees starting ace. Several people in the organization called Cole “Co-pitching Coach” of the team. No offense to the pitching coach Matt Blake. But Gerrit Cole believes his on the mound experience has taught him more than analytics. People can notice that Cole generally has conversations with pitchers during games. It is him passing on valuable insights on pitch sequencing, strategy or suggesting a mechanical tweak. As Gerrit Cole puts it, he simply likes to “Pay it forward” to pitchers between outings. 

What Happens To Luis Gil When The Ace Returns?

Luis Gil Yankees
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Randy Miller of NJ Media said the Yankees will relegate Gil to the bullpen as a reliever. Someone will lose his place in the starting rotation when Gerrit Cole returns. It might not be Nestor Cortes. Miller does not think so. But he feels it will be Luis Gil. Lately, the 25-year-old Dominican pitcher has been very impressive. He has the best ERA in the starting lineup of the NY side at present.

But Miller pointed at his durability because he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2022. Later, he missed the most of 2022 and the whole of the 2023 season. Hence, there is a good chance he will return to the bullpen as a reliever after July 1. Gil might end up pitching 100 innings this season.

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