The Yankees ace received an invite, but he should gratefully allow someone else to spend a couple days in Denver.
Sunday saw the two sides of the Gerrit Cole coin for the Yankees.
He was named a pitcher on the American League roster for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game in Denver. His April and May performances were dominant; he struck out 62 batters to just three walks in 37.2 innings in April.
But once the calendar turned to June (or, cough, when MLB decided to start checking for substances, cough), Cole has looked more human than at any point since he left Pittsburgh.
We don’t need to run through Cole’s June numbers because every broadcast and national highlights show has done it in the last 15 hours. But we’re gonna do it anyway. In June, Cole:
- Struck out 32 and walked 8 in 31 innings
- Allowed 9 home runs
- Opponents scored 16 earned runs (17 total)
- Cole’s ERA was 4.65
That doesn’t look much like his incredible April does it?
Sunday’s performance on the mound was another ugly afternoon for Cole and the Yankees. He threw 80 pitches and allowed four earned runs in 3.1 innings and clearly just didn’t have it.
This comes on the heels of allowing six runs (five earned) in five innings at the Red Sox in his previous start.
Things aren’t getting better for Cole. They’re trending in the wrong direction.
I’m not saying he isn’t capable of being one of the best pitchers in the American League. Or that his total numbers don’t warrant in invite to the All-Star Game. Gerrit Cole has, as a whole, performed at an All-Star level this season.
But Cole needs to think about where his season is right now and the direction his team — you know, the people who pay his bills — is going.
The Yankees need Cole to be the dominant ace he was in April and May. The rest of the pitching staff has its own issues to work out (closer controversy?) and Cole’s job is to be the stopper.
Aaron Boone needs to have confidence that every fifth day he hands the ball to a guy who can get his team a win almost on his own.
Right now, he shouldn’t have that confidence.
And Cole should take some time to get himself right and ready for the second half of the season.
Denver’s a beautiful city. But I’m confident Cole can afford a plane ticket and ski package if he wants to visit in the offseason. For now, stay home.