New York Yankees fans were delivered a scare on Wednesday when it was announced (quite literally out of nowhere) that manager Aaron Boone would be taking a medical leave of absence to have pacemaker surgery.
Boone has been dealing with a heart issue since his college days and actually underwent open-heart surgery back in 2009. He was experiencing some troubling symptoms over the last two months that prompted his latest procedure.
But the Yankees skipper’s positivity and reassurance before going under the knife made everyone feel better. And he wasn’t lying that he would be back in a few days.
Boone is already at the team’s player development complex watching Gerrit Cole pitch on Saturday morning.
The turnaround here is remarkable and just further proof of Boone’s resilience. Those well wishes and positive vibes really went a long way, huh?
Returning to where he belongs! No wonder the players love this guy.
As for Cole, the Yankees removed him from his scheduled Saturday start against the Pittsburgh Pirates because of inclement weather in the forecast. The team made the announcement on Friday, which revealed that Cole would be throwing live batting practice at the Yankees’ facility while Jameson Taillon would be getting the start against his former team in Bradenton.
This works for all parties. Cole doesn’t miss any reps. Taillon remains on schedule or could get an extra day of rest if the game gets rained out. After undergoing his second Tommy John surgery and missing significant time after a scary cancer diagnosis over the last two years, the right-hander can afford all of the extra time given to him.
The importance of keeping Cole on schedule over the next month will be paramount as he gears up to take the mound on Opening Day against the Toronto Blue Jays. Taillon’s reps will be crucial too, but fans are well aware the team will be taking it slowly with their new trade acquisition. He’s expected to pitch between 120-150 innings this year with more of those outings likely coming later in the campaign as he gets back up to speed.
Speaking of returning to normalcy, it seems Boone is really a full-go now.
Whether it’s a spring training game or a do-or-die matchup in October, Boonie will be ready for it. That’s the kind of leadership the Yankees need to get back to the World Series.