Gerrit Cole has solid final tuneup as New York Yankees' rotation looks intact for Opening Day

ESPN logo
Friday, April 1, 2022

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Less than a week before Opening Day, the rotation for the New York Yankees is looking intact.

Gerrit Cole had a solid final tuneup for his start next Thursday against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in the opener. Jordan Montgomery was strong in a simulated game and Luis Severino is ready to pitch Saturday after his scheduled outing was pushed back three days.

Cole allowed one run and two hits, striking out five and walked two over 3 innings in a 6-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Friday.

"A lot of good stuff, good fastball command, both sides of plate, top bottom," Cole said after throwing 42 of 64 pitches for strikes. "Good slider in the strike zone, good changeup."

Montgomery, meanwhile took part in an 11:30 a.m. simulated game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa and faced a lineup that included Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson.

"It's kind of crazy," said Montgomery, who threw around 65 pitches. "Really, I've been trying to take every game as serious as I can, especially today facing all of our guys. It's easy to take the excuse of 'Oh, I'm facing my guys and it's early [in the day].' I tried to lock it in and just treat today like it was a game."

Severino, who had general arm soreness after his most recent start, said he feels normal after a treatment regiment that included rest, massage, icing and stretching.

The right-hander was limited to four late-season relief appearances in 2021 after having Tommy John surgery on Feb. 27, 2020. He expects to throw 50 to 60 pitches in Saturday's spring training game against the Atlanta Braves.

"I know I'm going to have some ups and down, so it's good to know how to treat it, and so when it happens again, I'll be able to do it," Severino said.

A 19-game winner in 2018, Severino was limited by shoulder soreness to three appearances in 2019, the first on Sept. 17 and the last on Sept. 28, plus a pair of postseason starts

Jameson Taillon, coming off offseason surgery to repair a right ankle tendon, threw 48 pitches in 3 innings Thursday against the Philadelphia Phillies. The right-hander went 8-6 with a 4.30 ERA over 29 starts in his first season with the Yankees. Prior to last year, he hadn't pitched since May 1, 2019, while with the Pittsburgh Pirates because of Tommy John surgery.

Nestor Cortes Jr. is the fifth starter.