July 22, 2024

SAD NEWS: 2key players has just been fired…….

Let’s get this out of the way first. There isn’t a single pitcher the Yankees can add — on the open market, on the closed market, from someone else’s roster, from a faraway land — who can replicate what Gerrit Cole brings to their rotation.

If Cole is forced to miss the season, his calming and influential clubhouse energy will remain impactful on the campaign’s outcome, but his role will pale in comparison to what it could’ve — and should’ve — been. The team will get worse.

Rationally, pitchers break, and the Yankees should consider themselves lucky to have obtained three full years of Durable Cole, as well as the shortened 2020 season, before their investment was halted. Irrationally, this process sucks tremendously, and even if Cole’s elbow is miraculously deemed “clean,” this feels like a hurdle that won’t go away.

So far, the Yankees are using the word “precautionary” to describe their ace’s elbow exam, a determination that would hold more water if they weren’t bizarrely using the term, “mid-spring beat up” to describe their Captain’s lingering mystery soreness.

So, where do the Yankees pivot? Whether or not Cole’s done in by his balky elbow, it seems likely he’ll miss time in 2024 — on at least one occasion. How many Cole starts can this year’s Yankees, locked in a battle with the O’s, Rays, Jays (and don’t count out the Red Sox, because you never can), afford to sacrifice without improving the rotation?

With Cole, Nestor Cortes Jr. and Carlos Rodón’s efforts have combined to spark concern. Without Cole, even for a single stretch? They could be the difference between reaching October and grasping at it from afar

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