Yankees: CC Sabathia’s Comments on Gerrit Cole Prove He’s the Perfect Ace for New York
By Jerry Trotta
Former Yankees star CC Sabathia loves the prospect of Gerrit Cole pitching in New York.
The prolonged delay to the start of MLB’s regular season has obviously been laborious for all fans. However, there’s no denying that it’s been markedly more agonizing for Yankees diehards, who have waited four long months to witness the debut of Gerrit Cole, who signed with the club for $324 million as a free agent back in December.
Unfortunately — it feels like we say that a lot with New York — it won’t be at home, as the Yankees will travel to DC to take on the defending champion Washington Nationals on Thursday.
The pressure for Cole to excel in the Bronx in Year 1 of his nine-year contract is evident, and it was only amplified when Luis Severino underwent Tommy John surgery during the initial Spring Training.
But take it from former Yankees stalwart CC Sabathia. He vehemently believes that the 29-year-old stud will live up to his billing as the club’s new ace, and absolutely wants all the pressure that’ll be thrust upon him.
Most fans know that Cole is a big game pitcher, but there was some small-scale concern in the immediate aftermath of his signing on how he would perform with the Yankees, away from the Houston Astros and their emphasis on spin rate and analytics. To call that a reach (and even clickbait) would be an understatement, and this praise from Sabathia should quell those fears for good.
The three-time All-Star was arguably the best pitcher in the sport last season, finishing 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA, 326 strikeouts and a 0.895 WHIP. He’s given us literally zero evidence to suggest that his dominance won’t continue in 2020 and beyond.
Finally, playing in the Bronx was Cole’s dream as a child, so he knows exactly what he’s getting himself into as far as pressure is concerned.
Playing for the Yankees is obviously an entirely different animal than watching them win championships from the stands as a 10-year old, but if him embarrassing his new teammates during Summer Camp has told us anything, it’s that Cole will shine bright under the New York lights.
Take it from the last free agent ace who came to NYC and made the city his own.