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Yankees ace Gerrit Cole hopes to return very soon

Gerrit Cole threw a bullpen session on Saturday and is hopeful he can return to the Yankees’ rotation early this week.

Cole left in the fourth inning of his previous start against the Blue Jays on Sept. 7 due to hamstring tightness. He has felt better since and said the hamstring was fine while he threw on Saturday. Manager Aaron Boone previously said the hope was Cole could start Tuesday against the Orioles in The Bronx.

“We’ll have to see how I come out of it [on Sunday],” Cole told The Post.

Getting Cole back would obviously be an important development for the reeling Yankees, who had lost 11 of their past 13 games and seven in a row before beating the Mets, 8-7, on Saturday night at Citi Field. Their starting pitchers have struggled of late. Over their past six games, only one Yankees starter has made it into the fifth inning.

Gerrit Cole walks off the field after hurting his hamstring.
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“That’s been one of the issues for us this week, obviously, especially when we’re dealing with guys who have been worked a lot down there [in the bullpen],” Boone said. “It makes it challenging when those things happen.”

The Yankees have yet to announce a starter for Sunday’s series finale. Boone said two options are disappointing trade deadline addition Andrew Heaney and prospect Clarke Schmidt. They could end up using a combination of the two or go in another direction.

Starter Corey Kluber again struggled, as he had in his other two outings since coming off the injured list. He allowed five hits and four earned runs over four shaky innings. Kluber has now given up 11 earned runs on 14 hits across 11 ²/₃ innings spanning three starts.


“Some good, some bad, just not consistently as many well-executed pitches as I would like. I didn’t really control the count that great,” he said. “When I was ahead in the count we were fine. When I fell behind in the count, I backed myself into hitter’s counts. That’s kind of when they took advantage of it.”


Right-hander Domingo German (right shoulder inflammation) will resume a minor league rehabilitation assignment on Tuesday. He last pitched for the Yankees on July 31. Fellow starter Jameson Taillon (partial tendon tear in his right ankle) was still sore on Friday, but Boone isn’t sure if that means he will miss more than just one start, as was hoped.

Catcher Gary Sanchez was given the night off. Boone talked to Sanchez about his mistake on Friday night when he failed to tag out Jonathan Villar at the plate after the ball beat him by several steps.

“He certainly realizes, obviously, it’s a mistake there,” Boone said. “It’s a unique play in that the guy’s dead to rights and it’s a different game in that you’re not bracing for a collision. … He just felt he had him so out and that he was pulling up to surrender and then he goes out and makes a play, and then he’s athletically out of position to do what he needed to do.”

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