Gerrit Cole threw a bullpen session on Saturday and is hopeful he can return to the Yankees’ rotation early this week.
Cole left in the fourth inning of his previous start against the Blue Jays due to hamstring tightness. He has felt better since and said the hamstring was fine while he threw on Saturday. Manager Aaron Boone previously said the hope was Cole could start Tuesday against the Orioles in The Bronx.
“We’ll have to see how I come out of it [on Sunday],” Cole told The Post.
Getting Cole back would obviously be an important development for the reeling Yankees, who had lost 11 of their previous 13 games and seven in a row heading into Saturday. Their starting pitchers have struggled of late. Over their past five games, only one Yankees starter has made it through the fourth inning.
“That’s been one of the issues for us this week, obviously, especially when we’re dealing with guys who have been worked a lot down there [in the bullpen],” Boone said. “It makes it challenging when those things happen.”
The Yankees have yet to announce a starter for Sunday’s series finale. Boone said two options are disappointing trade deadline addition Andrew Heaney and prospect Clarke Schmidt. They could end up using a combination of the two or go in another direction.
“We’ll see,” Boone said. “Get through [Saturday’s game] and we’ll finalize [our plans].”
Right-hander Domingo German (right shoulder inflammation) will resume a minor league rehabilitation assignment on Tuesday. He last pitched for the Yankees on July 31. Fellow starter Jameson Taillon (partial tendon tear in his right ankle) was still sore on Friday, but Boone isn’t sure if that means he will miss more than just one start, as was hoped.
Catcher Gary Sanchez was given the night off. Boone talked to Sanchez about his mistake on Friday night when he failed to tag out Jonathan Villar at the plate after the ball beat him by several steps.
“He certainly realizes, obviously, it’s a mistake there,” Boone said. “It’s a unique play in that the guy’s dead to rights and it’s a different game in that you’re not bracing for a collision. … He just felt he had him so out and that he was pulling up to surrender and then he goes out and makes a play, and then he’s athletically out of position to do what he needed to do.”