Just In: As Yankees await Gerrit Cole injury verdict, Will Warren shows why he’s ‘ready’ for big leagues….

TAMPA, Fla. — Will Warren’s locker in the clubhouse at Steinbrenner Field is in the same corner as the Yankees’ entire starting rotation.


The pitching prospect is situated right across from Gerrit Cole, Marcus Stroman and the rest of the gang, only a few feet away.

Capitalizing on that proximity, Warren has been eavesdropping in on those starters this spring, picking their brains about what it takes to be successful in the big leagues.

“The biggest thing,” Warren said Monday, “is just trusting in your stuff. Whether you’ve got it that day or not, are you going to be able to throw the ball over the plate and get outs?”

Warren exudes confidence, but not in a cocky way. After tossing three innings of one-run ball in Monday’s 5-3 win over the Orioles, the organization’s No. 8 prospect (per MLB Pipeline) didn’t shy away from the fact that he needs to improve in his command. Warren had two timely strikeouts, but also walked three early on, pitching his way into trouble in both the first and second frames.

It was another start to build on and Warren, who finished last season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, believes that he’s ready for an opportunity at the big-league level.

On the same day that Cole went for an MRI on his elbow, that chance looks like it could be on the not-so-distant horizon.

“I feel like I’ve been ready,” Warren said. “Whenever that time comes, hopefully sooner rather than later, I’m ready to do whatever it takes to help this team win.”

Catcher Austin Wells agreed with his batterymate, insisting that Warren has all the tools to be successful once he makes his MLB debut. Working with Warren when the two prospects played together in the minors, Wells has a firsthand appreciation for how much the right-hander has grown.

“He’s a guy with a lot of upside and someone who is very competitive on the mound,” Wells said. “This is my second time catching him this spring in a game and he looks sharper each time. I think he looks really good and he’s gonna only get better.”

With Aaron Boone in Clearwater, Fla. for the other half of Monday’s split squad, a 2-1 win over the Phillies, new bench coach Brad Ausmus was the acting manager in Tampa. He’s still familiarizing himself with prospects like Warren, but praised the 24-year-old for his mature makeup and “major league stuff.”

“You can see his stuff is really good just by watching the contact that’s made,” Ausmus said. “I think there’s a reason why the organization likes him so much. You see that just by the way their hitters were reacting to his pitches.”

As of now, Warren’s path to a roster spot is contingent upon an injury ahead of him on the depth chart. In this case, it would depend on the severity of Cole’s elbow issue. Results of the ace’s imaging to check on his elbow discomfort haven’t been revealed as of Monday evening. If Cole does need to miss time, Warren is one arm that would be considered for the starting spot. Theoretically, Warren could help in the bullpen to begin the year as well, but it behooves the Yankees to keep Warren stretched out and allow him to continue to develop as a starter so he can fill in as soon as one does land on the IL.

Asked specifically about Cole and the possibility of a rotation spot opening with a few weeks to go until Opening Day, Warren said his approach isn’t going to change.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.