Yankees’ Gerrit Cole to get MRI for right elbow ‘discomfort’

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is scheduled to undergo an MRI after experiencing “discomfort” in his right elbow, manager Aaron Boone told reporters in Florida on Monday morning.

Boone, speaking before a Grapefruit League game, said the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner has not been recovering as expected between spring outings.

“His recovery, before getting to his next start, has been more akin to what he feels during the season, when he’s making 100 pitches,” Boone told reporters. “When he’s at 45 [pitches] and building to 55, he usually doesn’t have the recovery issues he’s having.

“I think there’s a level of discomfort, but I wouldn’t describe it as he’s in pain.”

Cole, 33, was scheduled to make his second spring training start Tuesday. He gave up three runs over two-plus innings in his debut against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 1. Six days later, he threw 47 pitches across three innings in a simulated game. He did not report any discomfort in talking with reporters afterward.

He’s made at least 30 starts in each of the last six full regular seasons.

“He usually doesn’t have the recovery issues he’s having. It’s been more of a challenge, more taxing,” Boone said Monday. “So we’re going to get an MRI to see what we’re dealing with here.”

Boone on Thursday said his outing was “pretty good. … I had a good time out there.”

When asked why he pitched in a simulated game against teammates and not later that night in an exhibition game against the Detroit Tigers, Cole said it was just part of the plan.

“That’s what we just had on the schedule,” Cole said. “And it gives us a little opportunity to force feed a couple of different pitches. We threw a couple extra changeups today. We’re really trying to get a good feel for that. But just a little bit of a download. And, like I said, just part of the schedule.”

Cole went 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA and 222 strikeouts in 209 innings last season. He is entering the fifth season of a $324 million, nine-year contract that pays $36 million annually. He has the right to opt out after the season and become a free agent, but if he opts out the Yankees can void the opt out by adding a guaranteed $36 million salary for 2029.

In other news, Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge is not expected to play again until Wednesday due to spring training fatigue.

Judge has not taken on-field batting practice the last couple days and was replaced after three innings and two at-bats, in which he struck out both times, in Sunday’s game against Atlanta.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

First appeared on www.espn.com

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