Yankees pitchers and catchers had their first workout down in Tampa on Wednesday, but all eyes were focused on one pitcher in particular: Gerrit Cole.
Wearing his No. 45 jersey and new Yankees cap, Cole threw a light, 25-pitch bullpen session to Gary Sanchez. And though it wasn't anything special, the fact that Cole was wearing the pinstripes is still a sight to see.
"The kind of work that he has done the last couple of years has been unreal," Sanchez told reporters. "So to have that opportunity to add someone like him, one of the best in the game, to our team makes us much stronger.
"Having the opportunity to catch him, see the movement of his pitches, adjust to him. It was great."
Luis Severino, who figures to be the Yankees No. 2 behind Cole, had glowing praise for Cole.
"He's one of the best pitchers in the league right now, so that's a great addition to this rotation and like I said, I think he's not only going to help the team but help [us] individually," Severino explained.
Back in 2017 as an All Star for the first time, Severino met Cole, and the former said they have stayed in contact ever since. And Severino believes what many others think in that Cole is what the Yankees have been missing to make it to the World Series, calling him "the key move for us this year."
Manager Aaron Boone was able talk ball with Cole after his session, and he came out impressed, saying "his attention to detail is special." Reporters saw Cole getting animated discussing what Boone said was everything from how his changeup should look, and what his arm angle should be doing.
There is no doubt the Yankees are putting a lot on Cole's shoulders this season, but they're doing so knowing he can take it. And that shows from the first day at camp where he got right down to business throwing to his new catcher as well as chatting it up about the game with his new manager.
"He's arguably the game's best pitcher," Boone said. "So we're adding a bonafide ace to an already, what we feel like is a really good rotation."