What lies ahead is an unenviable task for Brian Cashman, Aaron Boone and the New York Yankees. The weight of expectations is always something to be handled by the Yankees front office, but a series of circumstances have converged to put them in a position where it looks like this season is going to be an uphill battle. And yet it’s one they must face without changing direction and “rebuilding,” as many other franchises could afford to do.

Yankees can overcome Gerrit Cole injury if they're legit

The big news on Wednesday was the elbow injury to Gerrit Cole and the expectation that he could miss at least a month. This isn’t just a run-of-the-mill injury to a frontline starter. It appears to be a serious injury that will test Cole’s durability, arguably one of the most important features of the workhorse Cy Young winner. In the last seven non-COVID seasons, Cole has topped 200 innings six times. He led the AL in innings pitched last season. Basically, he’s been the most reliable pitcher in baseball in terms of taking the ball and eating innings. Oh, and he was pitching at an elite level while doing so.

He’s irreplaceable.

Gerrit Cole injury: Why Yankees need to be all in for 2024, with pennant  drought and Juan Soto on the line - CBSSports.com

Behind Cole, there are a bunch of question marks, too. Carlos Rodón is coming off a disaster of an injury-riddled season and his injury history in general is very concerning. Marcus Stroman is very good, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and was bad for a stretch before injuries totally derailed him last season. Nestor Cortes looked like a Cy Young winner to start 2022, but he was pretty bad last season and dealt with a shoulder injury. And then there’s Clarke Schmidt, who posted a 4.64 ERA (93 ERA+, 4.42 FIP) last season, his first full year in a rotation.

With Gerrit Cole hurting, Yankees lose another pitcher to injury - nj.com

The Yankees can now pivot to add help to the rotation — which they probably needed to do anyway — but the loss of Cole for months instead of days or even weeks is a crushing blow that they must overcome.