Yankees ace Gerrit Cole to being rehab assignment on Tuesday

As if Dollar Hot Dog night wasn’t a big enough attraction, the Somerset Patriots will start Gerrit Cole when they host the Hartford Yard Goats at TD Bank Ballpark on June 4, the team announced Sunday.

Aaron Boone told reporters in San Francisco that the Yankees’ ace, working his way back from elbow inflammation, will begin a rehab assignment with the Double-A affiliate this Tuesday. Cole has not pitched in an actual game since spring training. The reigning American League Cy Young winner started just one exhibition game before getting shut down after he had trouble recovering between throwing sessions.

Cole, who previously said that he wouldn’t rule out a June return, threw 43 pitches over three innings of live batting practice at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa on Thursday. His throwing program began with catch play on April 8.

Cole has said that he hasn’t felt any pain in his elbow since he started throwing.

Meanwhile, the Yanks’ rotation has fared well without Cole, taking a 2.73 ERA into Sunday’s series finale against the Giants. That mark led the American League and only trailed the Phillies’ 2.67 ERA.

However, the Yankees just lost Clarke Schmidt to a lat injury. He was shut down for 4-6 weeks. Cody Poteet took Schmidt’s spot in the rotation on Saturday.

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