Gerrit Cole injury signals surreal circumstances for recent Cy Young winners

Gerrit Cole injury signals surreal circumstances for recent Cy Young winners


Cole, who won his first Cy Young Award in 2023, hasn’t made fewer than 30 starts since 2016 (excluding the 2020 pandemic-shortened season) during his days with the Pittsburgh Pirates. On Monday, Yankees fans were stuck holding their collective breath when it was first reported that the six-time All-Star was set for an MRI.

Snell won his second Cy Young Award in 2023 (first with the San Diego Padres) yet is still un-signed with Opening Day fast approaching. The Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers open the regular season with a two-game set in South Korea from March 20-21, while the rest of the 28 teams begin their campaigns on March 28.

On Wednesday, it was reported that the Yankees won’t pursue Snell or Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease even with the Cole injury update.

Verlander picked up his third AL Cy Young in 2022 with the Houston Astros. He signed with the Mets that offseason and made 16 starts with New York in 2023. The 41-year-old was sent back to Houston at last season’s trade deadline and helped the team reach the ALCS for the seventh straight campaign.

Verlander arrived at Astros spring training in February with an ominous update that his shoulder “didn’t feel so great” earlier in the winter and he experienced a “hiccup” over the offseason. The nine-time All-Star is set to begin the season on the injured list.

After showing signs of greatness from 2018-21, including an All-Star nod in 2019, Alcantara took off in 2022 by capturing the NL Cy Young hardware. The Dominican right-hander regressed last season, going 7-12 with a 4.14 ERA over 28 starts, before being shut down for the year in September and subsequently undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Alcantara is slated to miss the entire 2024 season.

Even looking at the 2021 and 2020 campaigns, fans will see more recent Cy Young Award winners who either won’t be on a roster or will be sidelined come Opening Day.

While 2021 NL Cy Young victor Corbin Burnes is scheduled to toe the rubber for the Baltimore Orioles later this month, the AL winner from that season is also recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Robbie Ray won the honor that year with the Toronto Blue Jays before cashing in on a five-year, $115 million deal with the Seattle Mariners. The southpaw had an up-and-down 2022 season and made one start in 2023 before suffering his injury.

Ray was traded to the San Francisco Giants in January and could join their rotation over the summer.

The AL and NL Cy Young Award winners from the 2020 pandemic-altered season were Shane Bieber and Trevor Bauer, respectively. Bieber remains on the Cleveland Guardians and is currently healthy for the start of the year, while Bauer is still waiting for a chance to return to MLB following his sexual assault allegation scandal.


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