A.J. Cole was acquired by the Yankees in late April after sporting a 13.06 ERA in four games with the Nationals. Cole came to the majors in 2015 with Washington, and was primarily a starter. The Yankees placed him in the bullpen where he has gone 2-0 with an 0.83 ERA in 13 appearances. The 6’5” right-hander has struck out 28 and walked six in 21.2 innings of work.
Cole spoke to NY Sports Day on Friday.
NYSD: Why do you think your stuff has played so well out of the bullpen?
AC: I’m just going out there and just throwing to my strengths and everything like that. I mean, I have four pitches to work with, it probably helps a lot. Going one or two innings, guys only see me once, maybe twice.
NYSD: Is it tough converting from starter to reliever after being a starter for so long?
AC: Not really. You got thrown in a little quicker, but a couple of times you get used to it.
NYSD: How different is that whole routine though of not knowing when you’re going to pitch and kind of being on call?
AC: It’s not bad. Really, you’re just ready basically every single day. If you throw two days in a row, most of the time you’re gonna get that third day off but when you haven’t thrown in awhile you always have to be ready.
NYSD: You didn’t fight it at all, being moved to the bullpen or anything?
NYSD: What is it like being in the bullpen with Chapman and Betances and Britton and all these guys?
AC: This is probably one of the best bullpens to be able to come into and become part of that role. These guys are the best, probably the best in the league right now and it’s great to play for.