It was just one inning, but newly-signed Yankees starter Gerrit Cole made his Yankees debut last night. And he looked pretty good doing it.
Cole struck out two and walked one over a hitless inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates, pumping gas like it was the middle of the season. His first pitch to Adam Frazier was a 97 mph fastball. He got Frazier to pop out, struck out Bryan Reynolds, walked Cole Tucker, but then struck out Josh Bell to end his evening. In all threw 20 pitches, 12 of which were strikes, reached 98 mph twice and hit 97 mph six times.
The only less-than-great thing from his outing — and this is only less-than-great if you’re a certain sort of Yankees fan or reporter — is that Cole made a comment about how he’d like to get to a point where he and catcher Gary Sánchez “can read each other’s minds.” It was obviously just a comment a new player makes when working with a new catcher for the first time in spring training, but I saw some people on social media interpreting that as some sort of negative. As if Cole and Sánchez had communication issues. Which is weird given that Cole also said he worked well with Sánchez, but given how weirdly obsessive certain people in New York get about Sánchez’s defensive shortcomings, it’s likely something that someone will try to turn into a narrative at some point. From everything I saw things seemed fine.
For non-obsessives, Cole’s first appearance in pinstripes — well, at least pinstriped pants — was good to see.