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Yankees’ Ben Rortvedt credits Jose Trevino in helping him prepare to catch Gerrit Cole

May 20, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; New York Yankees catcher Ben Rortvedt (38) reacts in the dugout after scoring against the Cincinnati Reds during the third inning at Great American Ball Park. / David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

BRONX NY – Ben Rortvedt faced a major test in his return to the Yankees lineup on Saturday when he was tasked with catching ace Gerrit Cole.

Cole, who is as meticulous as they come, has pitched to Jose Trevino 18 times this season but never threw to the 25-year-old backstop. Of course, Trevino’s season-ending wrist injury opened up a spot for Rortvedt and with it a chance to be the batterymate of one of the game’s best pitchers.

Manager Aaron Boone said prior to Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Royals that it was going to be a challenge for Cole to get into a rhythm with Rortvedt after pitching to Trevino this whole season, but the skipper felt Rortvedt did well.

“It was good. There were a couple hiccups there where they were getting down on the pitch clock,” Boone said after the game. “I think there were a couple times Gerrit was kind of starting his motion and they’re finishing off a sign but I thought overall it went pretty well.”

“Yeah, I thought it was really fun working with Ben,” Cole said. “We made a lot of good pitchers. We worked out of a jam in the fifth, kept the damage low and stayed efficient enough to get to the seventh.”

Rortvedt was called up Friday and spent a lot of the day with Cole going over their game plan for Saturday and getting to know each other. The duo talked about how Cole likes to use his pitches in preparation for Saturday.

But one person who was invaluable to Rortvedt was Trevino himself.

“Talking a lot with Trevino was really helpful. Higgy [too],” Rortvedt said of Trevino and Kyle Higashioka after the game. “And then just doing a bunch of prep work for the game. Talked to [Trevino] yesterday and got with him really early this morning and throughout the entire game. He was with me in the dugout walking through a lot of stuff. So it was really good having him there.”

“He prepped Ben yesterday and he’s always looking for ways to contribute because he’s such a great teammate,” Cole said of Trevino. “So throughout the game him and Kyle are always going to be involved in conversations or anything that they’re picking up.

“They don’t miss a pitch. Ben coming up here and knowing that he was gonna get the start… Trevy being a player and having a lot of experience catching me… Just just did a wonderful job of just prepping and easing him into that situation.”

In his career, Cole has pitched 41 games with Trevino to a 2.57 ERA and a .206 BA. On Saturday, Cole went 6.1 innings while giving up just two runs on five hits and one walk. He also struck out 10 batters. Rortvedt hopes to keep Cole at that level but he knows he needs to get to know the Yankee pitching staff better, especially the Yankee ace.

“Gerrit’s the ace of this team. He’s Gerrit Cole. Trying to do my part as much as I can to be there for him,” Rortvedt said. “I told him before the game. Whatever he wants, whatever he needs I’m here for him.

“I’ll be the first one to say it. Injuries suck. It’s a massive blow to the team. I feel bad for Trevino but I just really got to get on the same page with the pitching staff and I got to do my job with them, teaching everybody as best as I can and do the best I can to convert a pitching staff and keep everyone up.”

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