With Gerrit Cole Coming Back, What Tough Decision Will Aaron Boone Make?

Since Gerrit Cole has been out, the rotation has been on fire. Now that Gerrit Cole is on the way back, Aaron Boone has a tough decision on who to move to make room for Cole.
Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees
Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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During the 2023 off-season, there was a lot of rumors and discussions in regards to the Yankees adding starting pitching. They missed out on Shohei Ohtani (who wouldn’t pitch in 2024 due to Tommy John). Their efforts weren’t enough to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto. General Manager Brian Cashman wouldn’t part ways with number two prospect Spencer Jones for pitchers like Corbin Burnes and Dylan Cease, who were traded respectively to the Orioles and Padres before the start of the Season. 

Although they managed to sign Marcus Stroman, there were questions as to if Carlos Rodon would improve from last season. Who would be the fifth starter, since they traded Mike King as part of the Juan Soto trade? There were questions about whether Cashman and his team did enough for the rotation. 

The projected rotation before spring training was Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortes, Marcus Stroman, and Clarke Schmidt. With this projection came questions about how Rodon and Schmidt would perform. What wasn't projected was injuries. That would happen to the star pitcher in Cole. Before he got hurt, Luis Gil was sent down to the minor league camp. After the injury, Gil was able to compete for the fifth spot, which he won. 

Without Cole, Cortes was the opening-day pitcher, followed by Carlos Rodon, Marcus Stroman, and Luis Gil. Nothing was expected from this rotation expect hold the fort until Gerrit Cole. Now there is a dilemma. Not only have they held their own without Cole, but they also created a problem of who is going to be replaced when Cole comes back. 

The five pitchers combined have won 22 games and lost 11 games. In 51 games pitched, they struck out 297 batters and earned an ERA of 2.86. Each pitcher has attributed to the Yankees having the best record in the American League at 35 wins and 17 losses. 

Now that Gerrit Cole is coming back, Boone and the team have a decision to make to help make room for him. What are some best options to help keep the consistency for the rotation but also give Cole the opportunity to help the Yankees to the World Series?