TAMPA, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 24: Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees heads to the dugout after pitching in the first inning during the spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Steinbrenner Field on February 24, 2020 in Tampa, Florida.
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

This winter, the New York Yankees made Gerrit Cole the most expensive pitcher of all time. On Monday, he made his spring debut.

Gerrit Cole is starting for the New York Yankees.” Fans have waited months to finally hear that sentence.

And even though it was just one inning of spring training work broadcast only over Pittsburgh radio, Yankees fans could not be more satisfied.

Cole finished his single inning of work with two strikeouts, a walk, and an infield pop out. He threw 19 pitches and his fastball sat in the upper 90s.

Yankees fans hope that this is just the start of an incredible career for Cole in pinstripes. Since he reported for camp, the Yankees have been raving about his focused mindset and competitive attitude. He’s been intense in his workouts and holds court with the other pitchers following his bullpen sessions.

Monday night highlighted that intense work ethic. Not many pitchers are ready to throw upwards of 98 mph just two weeks in. And it obviously has Yankee fans buzzing.

General manager Brian Cashman made Cole the most expensive pitcher of all time and Yankees fans expect him to play like it. The intangible qualities that Cole brings to the table have fans excited. However true it may be, Cashman developed a reputation as someone who could be burned by big contracts. If Cole comes in and dominates, that’s all that matters.

If Cole truly is the guy that $324 million says he is, he can lead the Yankees to their first World Series in over a decade. No matter what happens after that, he will always be revered in the Bronx. His spring training debut was just the first step in that long road.

Cole was relieved by Jordan Montgomery heading into the second inning.

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