New York Yankees SP Gerrit Cole will make spring debut vs. Pirates (Report)

TAMPA, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 20: Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait during photo day on February 20, 2020 in Tampa, Florida.

Gerrit Cole’s pinstripe debut will take place on Monday night when the New York Yankees meet the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The wait is nearly over for New York Yankees fans. According to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, Gerrit Cole will start Monday’s spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Cole will be making his debut in pinstripes against one of his old teams. Adler also notes that the plan is to give Cole one inning before turning the ball over to lefty starter Jordan Montgomery for two innings.

Sure, spring training games are meaningless and Cole is only going to face three batters if all goes well, but it’s impossible to blame Yankees fans for being excited about Monday’s game.

For years, a bonafide ace at the top of the rotation was viewed as the missing ingredient for the Bronx Bombers. Cole represents that dominant starter who can carry the team to its first World Series since 2009.

The Yankees will need Cole to be his best self almost immediately. The team’s rotation is going to be severely shorthanded to begin the season. Luis Severino‘s status is unknown after experiencing arm soreness, James Paxton is rehabbing after undergoing surgery, and Domingo German will miss the first 81 games of the season while serving out a domestic violence suspension.

As it stands, Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ, and Montgomery will hold down the rotation with the fifth spot up for grabs during spring training.

In related news, Happ turned in two perfect innings with three strikeouts on Saturday. If the veteran lefty can bounce back after a forgettable 2019 season, he’ll offer Cole some much-needed support.

Unfortunately for Yankees fans, Monday’s game will not be broadcast on television. Fans will have to wait for highlights to see Cole rocking the pinstripes for the first time.

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