Yankees’ Gerrit Cole set to start throwing in positive rehab step

Gerrit Cole’s shutdown is nearly complete. 

The reigning AL Cy Young winner is expected to start playing catch “in the next couple days,” Aaron Boone said Sunday, possibly as soon as Monday. 

After being diagnosed with nerve inflammation and edema in his right elbow — he met with Dr. Neal ElAttrache on March 14 — Cole was prescribed three to four weeks of no throwing.

Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole is set to start playing catch as he continues to rehab his elbow. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

He has kept his arm active during the shutdown, doing movements and plyometrics, so that he is not starting completely from scratch once he begins throwing. 

Still, Cole is expected to need about six weeks — the equivalent of spring training — to fully build up before he could return to the Yankees.

He is not eligible to be activated off the 60-day injured list until May 27 at the earliest. 

Cole is one of a handful of aces across the sport that has been sidelined early this season with elbow injuries, with Spencer Strider, Shane Bieber and Eury Perez recently joining the list. 

“It is disturbing, the amount of injuries that are happening,” Boone said. “I think in a lot of ways, we’re getting better about how you build guys up. But that’s a big thing, getting ramped up in a safe way. The amount of stuff across the board that guys have now I’m sure is a factor.” 

The MLB Players Association in a statement Saturday night blamed the pitch clock for the rash of pitcher injuries, though MLB shot back that there was no evidence to support that connection. 

“I think it could be one of the factors. It’s possible,” Boone said. “I don’t know that for sure. I think everything’s kind of on the table and probably part of the stew that’s causing some of this.” 

Gleyber Torres struck out looking in the first inning after backing out of the box as Bowden Francis delivered to the plate.

Francis had appeared to take a step off the back of the rubber before going right into his delivery and throwing a pitch that home plate umpire Angel Hernandez called for strike three

Torres immediately pleaded his case with Hernandez and Boone came out to argue as well, to no avail. 

“[The explanation was] that he got back on and had time and completed his move,” Boone said. “Definitely one of those that I want to look into and get the exact explanation of what is allowed there. He never broke his hands, which my understanding is when you get off the mound, you gotta at least break your hands. It might have been very much within the rules, but it sure felt a little odd.” 

DJ LeMahieu took ground balls hit right to him at third base and did some light running between first and second base Sunday, including some stops and starts.

The veteran continues to ramp up his workload from a non-displaced fracture in his right foot. 

Monday’s game was pushed from 2:05 p.m. to 6:05 p.m. to avoid playing during the solar eclipse.

Boone said he had not been told whether the Yankees would need to alter any of their pregame work on the field. 

“It would have been interesting playing during it, that’s for sure,” Giancarlo Stanton said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to watch it here around practice time and it’ll be cool.” 

Boone said he didn’t give the time change much thought. 

“Obviously it’s probably the right thing to do,” Boone said. “I remember there was one back when I was at the Little League World Series [in 2017] when we had the glasses out there. It was definitely interesting.”


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