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Gerrit Cole makes his season debut for the Yankees against the Orioles on Wednesday

Gerrit Cole makes his season debut for the Yankees against the Orioles on Wednesday

NEW YORK – AL Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole returns to the New York Yankees rotation Wednesday night to make his season debut against the Baltimore Orioles.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone made the announcement Monday on the ‘Talkin’ Yanks’ podcast.

Cole, a 33-year-old right-hander, made three rehab assignments for minor league injuries in his return from nerve inflammation and edema in his right elbow.

He threw 45 pitches in his first start on June 4 and 57 in his second start on June 9, both at Double-A Somerset. He threw 70 pitches for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday, striking out 10 in 4 1/3 innings while giving up two hits and allowing an unearned run.

Cole struck out 19 and walked none over 12 1/3 innings in three minor league rehab outings.

He made his lone spring training appearance on March 1 and was told to rest afterward. He started running bullpen sessions on May 4.

Cole was a unanimous winner of last year’s AL Cy Young Award after going 15-4 with 222 strikeouts while leading the AL in ERA (2.63) and innings pitched (209).

Cole is a six-time All-Star and is in the fifth season of a nine-year, $324 million contract that pays $36 million annually. He has the right to opt out after the season and become a free agent, but if he opts out the Yankees can void the opt-out by adding a $36 million guaranteed salary for 2029.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb