Sound the Hot Take Alarm!! Another one is about to engulf the worst parts of Yankees Twitter, so we’re going to get it out of the way as fast as possible to avoid the discussion from festering.
Is it about the Aaron Judge contract extension talks? Nope. The Josh Donaldson trade? Nah. The vacancy at catcher? Try again! In an offseason filled with countless question marks unrelated to one of the team’s few problems, this is about Gerrit Cole.
On WFAN Sports Radio, host Craig Carton declared Cole is “not an ace” and that Yankees fans “might think they have an ace, but they don’t.” The argument as to why? Fairly ridiculous, even for New York sports radio.
Carton compared Cole’s readiness to that of Mets stars Max Scherzer’s and Jacob deGrom’s “readiness” at this juncture of spring training. So because Cole just made his spring debut on Sunday while Scherzer and deGrom have more innings under their belt, that makes Cole not an ace?
Oh wait, even better! Then it was said Cole is unable to pitch without the sticky stuff! Though the immediate aftermath of last year’s substance ban played a role in his effectiveness, as did a late-season hamstring injury, Cole largely dominated in between, going 6-2 with a 2.34 ERA from July 10-Sept. 1.
Overall, for his Yankees career, he’s 23-11 with a 3.11 ERA. 1.03 WHIP, 3.20 FIP, 138 ERA+ and 337 strikeouts in 254.1 innings. He was the Cy Young runner up in 2021 and finished fourth in the voting in 2020.
Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole had his “ace” status called into question
Do Yankees fans hope for a bit more out of Cole? Absolutely. Faltering in the AL Wild Card Game, regardless of the circumstances, was rough and not what you’re looking for in a $36 million per season pitcher. Giving up a home run in the ALDS to Austin Meadows? Not the greatest. Giving up seven earned runs in a late-September game against the Guardians to put New York in a rough playoff position down the stretch? Bad stuff.
But every “ace” has their warts. And what good are the Mets’ ace(s) if the franchise has made the playoffs twice since 2007? Do we really want to go down that road?
The “sticky stuff” ban has affected most pitchers, and though Cole was made the poster boy for the whole fiasco, he’s quite literally still one of the best pitchers in the game despite losing whatever edge he once possessed.
Ok. Ok. It looks like Carton’s been trolling the entire time:
If you want to have another conversation about Cole perhaps not being worth the $36 million price tag for his shortcomings thus far, then sure, have at it. But don’t sit here and say he’s not an ace when he just pitched to a 3.23 ERA and 1.06 WHIP with 243 strikeouts in 30 starts (181.1 innings) in the American League (he was also sixth in WAR among all pitchers in MLB).
Yankees fans are all for holding the players accountable when expectations aren’t being met, but this type of nonsense will not fly, especially when there’s an agenda to prop up the Mets here.