June 24, 2024

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is poised for a significant step in his recovery on Tuesday. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner will face hitters in a throwing session for the first time since being sidelined with an elbow issue in spring training, according to Meredith Marakovits of YES Network.

Cole has been dealing with elbow nerve inflammation, which has kept him out for the entire Yankees season so far. He recently progressed to “two-up” bullpen sessions, where he pitches an inning, rests, and then throws more pitches. Reflecting on his return to bullpen sessions, Cole said, “It’s a good step. This is the most taste I’ve had of [pitching] in months, and I do miss it.”

He only started throwing again in mid-April and has been gradually increasing his activity. During spring training, he experienced prolonged soreness between outings, leading the Yankees to conduct tests to determine if he needed UCL surgery. Fortunately, surgery was not required.

Gerrit Cole - New York Yankees Starting Pitcher - ESPN

Yankees manager Aaron Boone expressed optimism after Cole’s initial bullpen sessions. “I think everyone in this room understands Gerrit Cole, who he is, how much he loves what he does, and obviously, how good he is at it,” Boone said. “So it’s just the process of getting back, another step along the way to getting him back. Glad we were able to get to this point today. Onward and upward.”

Yankees Leading AL East Without Gerrit Cole as Aaron Judge Heats Up

Despite Cole’s absence, the Yankees have thrived in 2024, boasting a 33-15 record and leading the American League East by two games over the Baltimore Orioles. Their success has been driven by strong performances at the plate, particularly from sluggers Juan Soto and Aaron Judge.

After a slow start to the season, Judge has regained his form. Recently, he hit a 467-foot home run, followed by three doubles and two RBIs in a 4-0 win over the Minnesota Twins. With his second career game of four extra-base hits, Judge joined Babe Ruth as the only Yankees to achieve this feat twice.

This remarkable game was the 28th in Yankees history featuring four extra-base hits, the first since Judge did it last September against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Judge, who was batting just .197 as of May 2, has raised his average to .266 with 13 home runs and 32 RBIs. He also leads the league with 38 walks this season.

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