MLB insider has ridiculous Yankees-Gerrit Cole take completely devoid of evidence

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New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays
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It's unclear exactly when Gerrit Cole will return to the New York Yankees, but the timetable has been loosely set to "early June." His elbow issue wasn't deemed serious or season-ending after multiple opinions, but rest was recommended.

That's exactly what Cole's been doing since the beginning of March. He threw for the first time this week and reported positive results. Nothing's changed with his recovery process to date.

But if you ask ESPN's Buster Olney, who isn't a doctor and offered no insight beyond what we already know, he's unsure if Cole will return at all in 2024.

Perhaps if Cole suffered a setback or a delay, this would've been relevant or could've held some weight. Instead, Olney just riffed on the boilerplate topic of the uncertainty of elbow injuries and decided Cole would be the topic of pessimistic discussion.

No time for this! None at all! Even though the Yankees' rotation has performed admirably without Cole, the reigning Cy Young winner is needed for this team to make a run in 2024.

MLB insider has ridiculous Yankees-Gerrit Cole take completely devoid of evidence

Here's what Olney said on the "Baseball Tonight" podcast with Tim Kurkjian:

“It’s interesting: With everything we’ve seen with the conversation around pitching injuries, as (we) sit here today and we talk about whether Gerrit Cole will come back, I’m assuming he’s not. And I don’t know — I don’t know what the phsyical state of his elbow is; he just started throwing. You hope he does come back. The injuries are so pervasive, I’m sure that internally the Yankees are planning on that.”

Onley is right about one thing, though: the Yankees need a backup plan to prepare for a worst-case scenario. But that's what the trade deadline is for, so it's not like they're out of options. They have to wait before addressing the rotation.

And you know what? It's a good thing they waited. Because Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery would've killed their payroll from a luxury tax standpoint, and trade candidates Shane Bieber (out for season) and Jesus Luzardo (has been bad) wouldn't have properly aided the Yankees.

There's still plenty of time before the Yankees know their fate, but to be talking about Cole not returning in 2024 in the beginning of April just feels misplaced since this was already a lengthy topic of discussion a month ago.