TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 21: Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 21, 2024 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by New York Yankees/Getty Images

Gerrit Cole Reveals How He Can Improve

It's difficult to imagine how Gerrit Cole can improve upon his 2023 Cy Young winning season. Yet, the Yankees ace and consensus best pitcher in baseball believes there are ways he can improve upon his stellar 2023 campaign — and knows what those ways are. 

According to a profile in the New York Post, Cole — who went 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA (2nd best in the MLB), produced 222 strikeouts (5th best in the MLB), and a .98 WHIP (best in the MLB) last season — told the Post's Jon Heyman that, "he's endeavoring to take his cutter to "the next step" and sees room to "refine" his command."

The advanced statistics behind Cole's cutter does confirm that it's his poorest pitch by a wide margin. In 2023, Cole threw his cutter 7% of the time — which was the lowest out of his five-pitch repertoire — and the batting average hitters had against it was .271. 

While .271 isn't abysmal by any means, the next worst batting average on another of Cole's pitches was .235. Therefore, Cole — who is surely aware of these stats — as right in believing that his cutter can improve. 

As for Cole seeing room to refine his command... well, every pitcher in the world wants to refine their command, and wishes they could have a few pitches back that got away from them. 

So while we can understand why Cole is keen to fine-tune his command even further, that's what every perfectionist pitcher would want.

Cole did also note that, in terms of team goals, he hasn't brought the Yankees a World Series trophy yet — which he why he has supposedly been endorsing the team to sign Blake Snell this offseason. 

Being an integral part in bringing New York its first World Series since 2009 is the, "ultimate goal," according to Cole. 

Of course, if the Yankees are going to procure their franchise's 28th championship in 2024, Cole is the least of their worries. The team is already dealing with perennial injury concerns for some of their biggest superstars, highly-paid but underperforming players, and a hyper-competitive AL East division. 

Although perhaps an improved cutter and refined command is all that Gerrit Cole needs to singlehandedly return his team to its former glory. 

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