This should go without saying. But, for some reason, it needs to be said.
New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole was given the ball to start against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday afternoon down in Tampa, Florida, making the game a must-watch for every Yankees fan. No one expected him to give up six runs on four home runs in just two innings, with the whipping wind and the Detroit bats (two, specifically, in Travis Demeritte and Miguel Cabrera) laying waste to his outing.
What Yankee fans need to take away from this difficult outing, however, is that his abysmal performance means nothing, no matter how many, "You hate to see that" messages they get in their mentions.
In a season that has just begun, but already features two Yankees starters out for extended periods of time, the only thing that matters is that Cole is healthy. The value of the nine-year, $324 million investment that general manager Brian Cashman made this past winter isn't contingent on Cole's performance during meaningless Spring Training games.
Luis Severino is out for all of 2020 after receiving Tommy John Surgery and James Paxton is out until May or June after getting back surgery over the offseason. As of now, the third option in the Yanks' rotation is J.A. Happ. If Cole goes down with an injury for an extended period, the Bombers might just have to hand the division championship to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Plus, Cole's issue on Thusday was not his velocity, as the home runs he was giving up were just pitches that bled over the plate, which can probably be attributed to the cold he has, or his sequencing work.
Cole's post-start comments made it very clear he knew what he was doing out there, and was in full control of the spotty performance.
Wasn't fun to watch. Didn't matter at all. Yankees fans can rest easy knowing that their ace is still feeling in command, despite having a bad start.