Yankees drop incredible Gerrit Cole news after Sunday Night Baseball stinker

Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Yankees
Los Angeles Dodgers v New York Yankees / New York Yankees/GettyImages

It turns out the New York Yankees purposely didn't announce a starter for Wednesday's game against the Baltimore Orioles. The second game of the set was blank and sandwiched in between Nestor Cortes and Luis Gil.

They were saving Wednesday for hopeful Gerrit Cole news on the horizon, which the team and fans received on Monday. Aaron Boone announced that the Yankees ace will make his season debut against the O's at Yankee Stadium.

Cole finished his rehab assignment on Friday at Triple-A Scranton. He went 4 1/3 innings and struck out 10 batters on 70 pitches. He allowed two hits, zero earned runs, and didn't issue a walk. Thankfully, that showed he didn't need another tune-up outing against inferior competition.

It's the perfect update for what the team just endured. The Yankees inexplicably choked away a weekend series against the Red Sox, losing both nationally-televised games in embarrassing fashion. Anthony Rizzo suffered a concerning injury. Marcus Stroman and Carlos Rodón put up stinkers against a bad offense. Jasson Dominguez got hurt at Triple-A right before Sunday's game.

But who cares?! The Yankees are 14 games better than the Sox and accomplished that without the best pitcher in the American League. Now they have him back for their toughest opponent of the first half.

Yankees drop incredible Gerrit Cole news after Sunday Night Baseball stinker

The Yankees are learning the importance of "timing" in 2024, a concept they couldn't grasp from 2018-2023. Better late than never!

Cole will now get about a month to build himself back up before the All-Star break, and should theoretically be ready to put together a complete second half without any limitations. That's the hope, at least.

Unless Boone opts to give Cole an extra day of rest in between starts should he deem necessary, the right-hander could line up for outings against the Mets, Blue Jays, Red Sox and O's once more before the break commences.

That should be a good litmus test for the reigning AL Cy Young winner, and will help the Yankees diagnose just how serious their bullpen issues are ahead of the trade deadline.