Yankees ace Gerrit Cole to make season debut vs. Orioles on Wednesday

NEW YORK — Gerrit Cole is ready for The Show.

After three successful rehab starts, the Yankees‘ ace will make his 2024 debut this Wednesday night against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced the anticipated decision during his weekly appearance on the Talkin’ Yanks podcast on Monday.

Cole, sidelined by elbow inflammation midway through spring training, recorded a 0.73 ERA, 19 strikeouts and zero walks over 12 1/3 innings and three minor league starts. The first two rehab outings came with Double-A Somerset.

Cole most recently totaled two hits, one run (zero earned), zero walks, 10 strikeouts and 70 pitches over 4 1/3 innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday.

“I feel really good today, and I felt really good last night,” Cole said Saturday in Boston.

“It feels like it’s coming together. … The closer and closer you get, the more excited you get.”

Cole will not be fully built up when he returns to the Yankees, but they’ll happily take 80-85 pitches from the reigning American League Cy Young with the second-place Orioles in town.

That’s not to say the Yankees’ rotation has faltered in Cole’s absence. In fact, the opposite is true, as Yankees starters have a 2.90 ERA this season. No rotation has been better in that regard.

Cole will join a staff that has been led by Luis Gil, who has broken out after winning the fifth rotation spot that Cole’s injury vacated. Nestor Cortes, Carlos Rodón and Marcus Stroman have also put together strong seasons, though the latter two struggled in Boston over the weekend.

With Clarke Schmidt on the injured list, Cole will likely replace Cody Poteet in the rotation. The righty has been solid, recording a 2.14 ERA over four starts this season. However, Poteet has options and can stay built up as a starter at Triple-A.