Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws in the top of the first...

Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws in the top of the first inning against the Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field on March 1. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

LAKELAND, Fla. — The reverberations from Gerrit Cole’s injury — as of Thursday, there still was no official diagnosis — didn’t just occur in Tampa with the Yankees.

“I was so sad to hear that,” Hall of Fame manager Jim Leyland, who managed the Pirates, Marlins, Rockies and Tigers, told Newsday before the Tigers beat the Yankees, 7-0, on Thursday. “I love Gerrit Cole. I know him from Pittsburgh [which chose Cole first overall in the 2011 draft]. It’s just a shame.”

Current Tigers manager AJ Hinch has an even more direct connection with Cole, who arrived in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon and was scheduled to have his right elbow examined Thursday by orthopedic specialist Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Hinch, the Astros’ manager from 2015-19 (he was fired after MLB’s investigation into the club’s sign-stealing scandal), managed the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner during the last two years of that stint.

“I’m rooting for him because I care about the human and I know everything he puts into it,” Hinch told Newsday on Thursday morning.

Cole arrived in Houston via trade from the Pirates in January 2018 and was brilliant, going 15-5 with a 2.88 ERA in 32 starts in 2018. He went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA in 33 starts in 2019 (Cole finished a close second that year to teammate Justin Verlander in the American League Cy Young voting).

Hinch, entering his fourth season managing a young Tigers team looking to make a significant jump in the AL Central, said what he observed of Cole in those two seasons is something he talks about with some of his pitchers.

In fact, when the Tigers played at Steinbrenner Field on March 3, Hinch included Detroit’s top pitching prospect, Jackson Jobe, on the trip specifically so he could meet and talk with Cole (the pair talked for about 20 minutes).

“He’s all in,” Hinch said of Cole. “That’s one thing I’ve tried to share with young pitchers; his attention to detail is at the very top of the list of guys that I’ve been around. That to me is a difference-maker in his starts. It’s a difference-maker in other pitchers’ starts.

“Listen, when you have somebody of that magnitude, everybody thinks you’re going to win the day he pitches. That’s the way it was in Houston. Boonie [Aaron Boone] can tell you how it is now, but I can’t imagine it being any different.”

It has not been different at all with the Yankees, pretty much from the time they signed Cole in December 2019 to a nine-year, $324 million contract.

The Yankees will miss more than Cole’s performance on the mound for however long he is out. The one to two months floated in a report Wednesday was guesswork, as there hasn’t been a diagnosis yet. It likely will be at least that long, as he will need to be built back up.

There also is, as Hinch alluded to, Cole’s influence on the clubhouse, pitchers especially.

“He’s a continuous learner. He’s always watching the game, he’s always asking questions,” Hinch said. “I haven’t been around him a lot [recently], but I know the DNA of him. He’s had that influence because of what he puts into the game.

“It’s one of the reasons I had [Jobe] talk to him earlier this spring, to just grab some intel from him on what his preparation is like, what his day-to-day is like, how his mindset is. He’s certainly as talented as any pitcher I’ve ever had. He’s as prepared as any player I’ve ever had.”

Leyland, elected to the Hall of Fame this winter, said that as a manager, there’s only one way to handle the kind of news Boone received this week (which could get worse depending on Cole’s evaluation in Los Angeles).

“Obviously, everybody’s aware of it, so it’s not like something you can just discard, but it’s a chance to pump your team up a little bit and say, ‘Fellas, this is simple. We can either sit around and feel sorry for ourselves or we can go out and play the type of baseball we’re capable of playing, and we are capable of playing good baseball,’ ” Leyland said.

“I think you make it simple, but you don’t try to hide from the fact that we just lost a Cy Young guy for however long it is . . . The Yankees are going to open up the same day as everybody else, that’s just the way it is. They’re just not going to have Gerrit Cole pitching, but they’re still going to have a pretty good pitcher pitching. And they’re still going to put a pretty good lineup out there. [But] it’s very difficult.”

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