Gerrit Cole as AL wild-card starter puts Yankees at ease

Not only did the Yankees avoid a play-in game with Sunday’s 1-0 win over the Rays, they can go to Gerrit Cole on five days’ rest for the wild-card game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday.

“There’s no one I’d rather have on the mound than Gerrit Cole,’’ said Jameson Taillon, who tossed 3 ¹/₃ innings in Sunday’s win. “I think we’re in a good spot.”

Prior to Sunday’s game, Aaron Boone indicated it was a fairly easy decision to go with Taillon on full rest than have Cole on short rest, saying that would “compromise” the rotation going forward.

The Yankees had been encouraged by Taillon’s bullpen sessions since he’d been forced out of his previous start on Tuesday in Toronto, when he aggravated the ankle injury.

Cole pitched well through five innings in his last start in Boston, when he held the Red Sox scoreless into the sixth before Rafael Devers took him deep.

Taillon added he came out of the game feeling good, optimistic he’ll be able to go longer into the game if he gets a chance to pitch against the Rays in the ALDS- adding he confirmed with doctors he can’t make the injury worse.

Gerrit Cole
USA TODAY Sports

“I’ll be ready for whatever we need,’’ Taillon said. “At this point of the year, you can’t hold anything back.”


Rougned Odor broke an 0-for-18 slide with his leadoff single to start the Yankees rally in the bottom of the ninth — in the starting lineup due to DJ LeMahieu being out.

“I’m always ready to play,’’ Odor said. “They put me in the lineup and I’m ready to go. I didn’t play too much, but I don’t care. I give 100 percent.”


Bronxie the turtle lives on.

After the Yankees clinched their postseason berth with Sunday’s 1-0 win over the Rays, sending them to Tuesday’s wild-card game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, Odor said they put the turtle adopted recently by Nestor Cortes Jr. back in its cage for safe-keeping during the clubhouse celebration.

“She’s good,’’ Odor said. “She’s given us a lot of energy. We’ve talked a lot about the turtle. We don’t want [anything] to happen to her.”


Luke Voit’s season is officially over.

The first baseman was transferred to the 60-day IL with left knee inflammation. Voit had been placed on the 10-day IL on Thursday and Boone had expressed a vague thought that Voit could come back and play a role if the Yankees made a playoff run.

The Yankees also selected right-hander Brody Koerner and optioned him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Voit’s return this season seemed unlikely even before Sunday’s move, since Voit’s last start came on Sept. 22 and during his most recent plate appearance, a pinch-hit at-bat on Wednesday in which Voit struck out and then limped to first base when the ball got away on strike three. He underwent surgery on his left knee to repair a partially torn meniscus during spring training and also spent time on the IL with left knee inflammation and a strained right oblique.

After leading the majors with 22 homers during last year’s COVID-shortened season, Voit struggled throughout 2021 and found himself without much of a role after the Yankees traded for Anthony Rizzo from the Cubs before the trade deadline.

Koerner allowed a run in three innings in two appearances with the Yankees in August. The 27-year-old spent the season with SWB, where he had a 3.48 ERA in 75 innings.

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