Yankees News: Aaron Boone Offers Injury Update as He Addresses Key Rotation Decision Ahead of… 

New York Yankees’ pitching ace Gerrit Cole is making strides in his recovery from a nerve injury in his throwing elbow. Recent updates reveal Cole’s encouraging progress, including his return to mound work, where he’s clocked speeds of up to 89 mph with his fastball. While Cole remains a few weeks away from potentially embarking on a rehab assignment, his trajectory suggests a comeback slated for June.

Gerrit Cole’s Return and Its Impact on the Yankees’ Pitching Setup

Cole’s impending return signals a significant boost for the Yankees, reinstating him as their premier pitcher, especially given his accolades, including last season’s Cy Young award in the American League. His stellar performance in the 2023 season, boasting a 2.63 ERA over 209 innings with notable metrics like an 80.4% left-on-base rate and a 39.6% ground ball rate, contributed significantly to the team’s success.

Rotation Dilemma: Schmidt vs. Gil

However, Cole’s impending return presents a dilemma for the Yankees, as it adds an extra starter to the rotation mix, creating a challenging decision to finalize the starting five. The spotlight falls on Clarke Schmidt and Luis Gil, both displaying promise but also grappling with inconsistencies.

Clarke Schmidt has encountered a mixed bag of results this season. While he posted a 4.64 ERA over 159 innings last year, his current campaign reflects a 3.50 ERA and a 4.09 FIP across 36 innings. Notable strengths include a robust 10.25 strikeouts per nine innings and an 81.8% left-on-base rate. However, Schmidt has faced challenges with pitch placement, evident in recent outings such as his encounter with the Detroit Tigers, where he conceded three earned runs and a leadoff homer.

Yankees' Gerrit Cole on dominating start, Astros, wife's 'bragging rights'

On the flip side, 25-year-old Luis Gil has showcased promise with a 3.19 ERA over 31 innings this season, striking out an impressive 11.61 batters per nine innings. While Gil boasts commendable stats, including a 73.9% left-on-base rate and a 36.8% ground ball rate, his walk rate remains a concern at 5.81 per nine innings. Nonetheless, his recent standout performance against the Baltimore Orioles, pitching 6.1 scoreless innings with five strikeouts, underscores his potential impact.

As the Yankees gear up for Cole’s imminent return, manager Aaron Boone faces a pivotal decision. Should he place faith in Schmidt’s developmental trajectory and recent progress, or opt for Gil’s potentially more immediate contributions? Regardless of the choice, maintaining pitching depth remains paramount, especially given the unpredictable nature of injuries.

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