Gerrit Cole to make season debut for Yankees on Wednesday against Orioles

FILE - New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole throws a bullpen session before the team's baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, May 11, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Cole struck out 10 in 4 1/3 innings for Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre on Friday night, June 14, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner’s third rehab start and the latest step toward returning to the Yankees’ rotation.(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)(AP/Chris O'Meara)

NEW YORK (AP) — AL Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole is scheduled to return to the New York Yankees rotation on Wednesday night to make his season debut against the Baltimore Orioles.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone made the announcement Monday on the “Talkin’ Yanks” podcast.

Cole, a 33-year-old right-hander, made three minor league injury rehabilitation assignments in his return from nerve inflammation and edema in his right elbow.

He threw 45 pitches in his first start on June 4 and 57 in his second on June 9, both at Double-A Somerset. He threw 70 pitches Friday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, striking out 10 over 4 1/3 innings while giving up two hits and allowing an unearned run.

Cole struck out 19 and walked none over 12 1/3 innings in three minor league rehab outings.

He made his only spring training start on March 1, then was told to rest. He began throwing bullpen sessions on May 4.

Cole was a unanimous winner of last year’s AL Cy Young Award after going 15-4 with 222 strikeouts while leading the AL in ERA (2.63) and innings (209).

A six-time All-Star, Cole is in the fifth season of a $324 million, nine-year contract that pays $36 million annually. He has the right to opt out after the season and become a free agent, but if he opts out the Yankees can void the opt-out by adding a guaranteed $36 million salary for 2029.



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