Yankees set Gerrit Cole’s season debut for pivotal series against Orioles

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New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is finally set to make his 2024 season debut. 

Cole will be facing the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which will be a tough first start considering the AL East rival owns the second-best record in the American League this season. 

Cole will be going up against left-hander Cade Povich on the bump. 

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Gerrit Cole looks on field

Gerrit Cole, #45 of the New York Yankees, looks on during the game against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium on May 19, 2024, in New York City. (New York Yankees/Getty Images)

The Yankees and its fan base have been waiting patiently for Cole to return to the rotation, as he was dealing with nerve irritation and edema in his pitching elbow. 

Cole has been on the injured list, but after going through necessary rehab steps, he has looked very sharp in his rehab starts leading up to his debut. 

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Cole has made three starts in the Yankees’ minor leagues, most recently dominating his opponents in Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders. He struck out 10, gave up two hits and allowed one unearned run over 4.1 innings. 

In total, Cole racked up just one earned run with 19 strikeouts and no walks over 12.1 innings over his three starts, and the Yankees are seeing all they need on the radar gun and the stat sheet to know he is ready to join the club. 

The Yankees were waiting to make the call for Cole to start Wednesday, as manager Aaron Boone noted it would have been Cody Poteet again making the start. He has been in the rotation since Clarke Schmidt hit the injured list with a lat strain. 

Gerrit Cole speaks with Andy Pettitte

Gerrit Cole, #45 of the New York Yankees, talks with Andy Pettitte, right, before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Yankee Stadium on June 7, 2024 in New York City. (New York Yankees/Getty Images)

This series against the Orioles is a highly anticipated one, as Baltimore has kept pace with the team owning the best record in MLB this season. The Yankees are looking for a little divisional revenge after dropping two of three to the Boston Red Sox in their first meeting of the campaign. 

The Yankees, however, have not just gotten through this first half of the schedule without their best starter – they have thrived. Luis Gil has been the team’s ace, owning the best ERA in the American League at 2.03 on the season. That is why he is the frontrunner to win Rookie of the Year.

Also, the resurgence of Carlos Rodon, the addition of Marcus Stroman and the work by Nestor Cortes, Schmidt and Poteet have made this rotation one of the best in baseball. 

It is only expected to get better with Cole rejoining his teammates, and the Yankees will hope he can have quick success to keep the ball rolling heading toward the All-Star break. 

Gerrit Cole pitches

Gerrit Cole, #45 of the New York Yankees, throws from the mound before a game against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium on May 21, 2024 in New York City. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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Cole is the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner after leading the league with a 2.63 ERA over 209 innings. He started 33 games last season and was a bright light in a year the team did not reach the postseason. 

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