Yankees’ Gerrit Cole goal this debut: Not aiming for perfection

Gerrit Cole is convinced he is close. The velocity is there, and the movement on his lands hasn’t let him down.

It’s his precision that’s been missing in three starts this season, including a disastrous five-out, five-walk outing Tuesday at Detroit.

As he and the Yankees leaned into the video to figure out where he went wrong, the answer was on the periphery.

“It’s not like I try to throw the ball one side of the plate and miss the other side of the plate,” Cole said before the Yankees beat the Guardians, 5- 4, at the Stadium on Saturday. . “I try to throw the ball and miss just outside the strike zone.”

He’s hoping to fix Sunday’s near misses against Cleveland in projects as big as a late-April game at the stadium can be. Do the Yankees really have a problem with their $324 million ace, or is he just settling down after a crash spring training that upended everyone’s schedules?

Gerrit Cole
Jason Szenes

Cole said he believed it was the latter. He said struggling through three brief starts, after which his ERA sits at 6.35, has been a pursuit of perfection, rather than just relying on business.

“I think it’s really kind of a little tweak. We were going for really perfect pitches, I think probably too often – I was,” said Cole, who only pitched 5 ¹/₃ rounds in the Grapefruit League before the season. “I think in some situations, if I had attacked the zone better, we would have been in a better position, so that’s what we’ve been working on this week.

Too often he had to fight to count. Last season, he threw a first pitch 66.8% of the time. This season, that mark has plunged to a career-worst 42%.

He falls behind, tries to paint a corner and sinks deeper. If he can fix the accuracy at the start of the counts, he thinks the problem can fix itself.

The Yankees staff thrived outside of Cole, and despite the ace’s struggles, the rotation ended Saturday with a sparkling 2.87 ERA. Luis Severino (2.08), Jordan Montgomery (2.51), Jameson Taillon (3.07) and Nestor Cortes (1.15) more than made up for his initial difficulties.

If Cole, whose stuff still looks like what made him a superstar, finds himself and the corners, the rotation could be powerful.

In the meantime, the Yankees and his family and friends think this will turn around.

“There are a lot of people who watched me for a long time, my parents, my wife and my teammates. People offered advice or…like a hug or something,” Cole said with a laugh.

The best advice came from his young son, Caden: “Relax. »

New York Post

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