Yankees injured starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) in the dugout...

Yankees injured starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) in the dugout during the sixth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY, on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Credit: Brad Penner

SAN DIEGO — More progress for Gerrit Cole with, most important from his and the Yankees’ standpoint, no setbacks.

The righthander threw two 15-pitch innings Saturday in a simulated game at the club’s minor-league complex in Tampa, the second time this week that Cole faced hitters.

“We hit all our goals,” Cole told The Associated Press after the session, which had him facing minor-league hitters. “We did exactly what we wanted to do today. Threw a lot of strikes, so pretty good.”

Cole, who started the season on the injured list with right elbow inflammation, faced hitters for the first time during his rehab last Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. He told the AP he’s likely to face hitters again in roughly five days.

“Get after the recovery and try to get back on the bump middle next week,” Cole said.

“Threw all his pitches,” one club observer in Tampa said of Cole’s session. “He was in the zone and all of his pitches looked good.”

The evaluator said Cole was told not to surpass 95 mph with his fastball and added that  the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner hit that number a handful of times in the outing.

Cole, who made one start in spring training before experiencing issues in his recovery process that ultimately led to his getting sent for testing on the elbow, is in the early stages of what amounts to a full spring training to build himself up.

The Yankees have not provided a timetable for Cole’s return — which has been the case from the time he was diagnosed with the inflammation — but generally speaking, July 1 was a date floated by more than a few on the inside. At the moment, assuming Cole continues with no setbacks, a return by around that date is a strong possibility.

Berti to IL

Utilityman Jon Berti, who suffered a left calf strain as he tried to bust out of the batter’s box in the ninth inning Friday, was put on the IL Saturday. Infielder Kevin Smith was selected to the active roster

Berti had been getting the bulk of playing time at third of late and his injury means the position will be manned by Oswaldo Cabrera in the short term —  likely the very short term. DJ LeMahieu, who was transferred to the 60-day IL Saturday in what amounted to a clerical move, is expected to be activated on Tuesday before the Yankees start a three-game series in Anaheim. LeMahieu started the season on the IL with a non-displaced fracture in his right foot, the result of fouling a ball off the foot on March 16 during a spring training game against the Blue Jays.

Extra bases

Aaron Boone said before Saturday night's game that the “plan” is to activate righty Ian Hamilton, on the seven-day COVID-19 IL, on Sunday . . . The 17-game hitting streak Anthony Volpe brought into Saturday night matched the longest hitting streak by a Yankee in the last 12 seasons, with Didi Gregorius the last to accomplish it in 2017. Derek Jeter had a  19-game streak in 2012.

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