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Gerrit Cole set to face live hitters on Tuesday in ‘important’ stage

For the first time since early March, Gerrit Cole is scheduled to face hitters on Tuesday.

The Yankees ace will attempt to clear one more hurdle on his path back to health, a milestone that usually precedes a minor league rehab assignment.

Aaron Boone said facing live hitters again would be “important.”

Gerrit Cole is impressed by Paul Skenes from afar.
Gerrit Cole is getting into shape to possibly make his 2024 regular season debut. Robert Sabo for the NY Post

“It’s another step on the path to getting out there and facing the hitters,” the Yankees manager said before a 5-4 loss to the Mariners in the Bronx on Monday. “I’m sure there will be a bit of adrenaline that goes with it.”

Cole was shut down after just one start of spring training, on March 1, due to what was later determined to be nerve inflammation and swelling in his right elbow.

Cole didn’t pick up a baseball until April and has been stretching since, preparing for a 40-pitch bullpen session on Saturday.

During this session, Oswaldo Cabrera and Jahmai Jones stood in the batter’s box without swinging.

Cole basically pitched the equivalent of two innings and rebounded well, Boone said.

He’ll likely have to hold several live batting practices before beginning a stint in the minor leagues, but Tuesday will be another step toward what should be around late June or early July.

“We just want to keep progressing and keep putting up good days,” Boone said.

Ian Hamilton, who was sent home before Sunday’s game because he wasn’t feeling well, was placed on the COVID-19 injured list for seven days.

In corresponding moves, the Yankees selected the contract of left-hander Clayton Andrews from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and designated right-hander Colby White for assignment.

Andrews, a 5-foot-6 left-hander who arrived in a February trade with the Brewers, held a 6.60 ERA in 15 innings with SWB.

The 27-year-old was on a grocery run on a day that was supposed to be a day off, got the call from RailRiders Director Shelley Duncan and never made it to the grocery store.

Ian Hamilton
Ian Hamilton Getty Images

Andrews, who made his debut last season with Milwaukee, visited the park Monday afternoon. He had never been to Yankee Stadium – or New York – before.

Aaron Judge (2-for-4 with a double and a walk) extended his hitting streak to eight games and reached base safely in a season-high 17 consecutive games.

Anthony Volpe (1-for-4 with a hit-for-hit) extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games.

Luke Weaver, who recorded the final two outs of the eighth inning, went 18 innings without allowing a run. His ERA dropped to 2.20.

When DJ LeMahieu returns from an injury rehabilitation assignment expected to last at least until Sunday, he will receive “the majority” of playing time at third base, Boone said.

Jon Berti and Cabrera split time at the hot corner in a small field, although Berti received his third straight start Monday and went 1 for 4 with an RBI single.

New York Post

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