MLB News: Gerrit Cole Returns

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The Yankees have had a tough start to their season but have stayed strong without their top pitcher, Gerrit Cole, affecting their initial  MLB odds.

Now, Cole is ready to make his season debut on Wednesday. The Yankees are excited to have him back as they face the Baltimore Orioles in the second game of a three-game series between the top two teams in the American League.

New York Yankees Pitcher Gerrit Cole

Cole has been recovering from right elbow inflammation, which kept him out for the Yankees’ first 75 games. He worked his way back by making three minor league starts, slowly increasing his pitch count.

In his final rehab game, Cole pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings and struck out 10 batters for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. During rehab, he allowed only two runs (one earned), struck out 19, and did not walk any batters in 12 1/3 innings.

With Cole pitching, the Yankees are favorites with -172 on the MLB Odds, while Baltimore has a +141 chance.

In 2023, Cole had a great season, winning the AL Cy Young Award with a 15-4 record, a 2.63 ERA, and 209 innings pitched. He also recorded 222 strikeouts in 33 starts, making him one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Cole is eager to return, saying, “I want to get back very soon. The team is doing great, and I want to help them.”


Judge and Other Injuries

MLB Player Aaron JudgeAs Cole gets ready to pitch, there are concerns about Aaron Judge’s health. Judge was hit in the left hand by a pitch during the Yankees’ 4-2 win on Tuesday.

Judge stayed in the game at first but was replaced by Trent Grisham in the fourth inning after scoring on a single by Giancarlo Stanton. An MRI and CT scan showed no fractures.

Judge was relieved, saying, “I’ve been hit there before and broke my wrist, so I’m glad it’s not fractured or broken this time.”

The Orioles also have injury issues. Jordan Westburg left Tuesday’s game with left hip discomfort after a collision with Yankees baserunner Juan Soto. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said, “His hip is pretty sore. He’s day-to-day with a hip contusion, but we’ll see how he feels Wednesday.”


Reinforcements Are Here

To cope with injuries, the Orioles have turned to their farm system. Cade Povich, with a 0-1 record and 4.76 ERA, will make his third career start on Wednesday. Povich allowed six runs in his major league debut but followed up with six scoreless innings in a win over the Atlanta Braves.

The Yankees have done well without Cole, holding a league-best 50-24 record and allowing only 3.38 runs per game. However, Cole’s return will make their already strong pitching staff even better.

Right-hander Clarke Schmidt was placed on the IL with a lat strain last month and is expected to miss at least two months.  Cody Poteet, who replaced Schmidt, has performed well with a 2.14 ERA in four starts but will likely be sent down to make room for Cole.