July 8 (UPI) -- New New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole showed he is already in midseason form with a six-strikeout performance during an intrasquad scrimmage at Yankee Stadium.
Cole -- who signed a nine-year, $324 million contract with the Yankees in December -- also allowed just one hit in five innings against his teammates Tuesday in New York City. He threw 43 strikes in the 67-pitch performance. Cole retired the final 10 batters he faced.
"I thought it was good," Cole told reporters. "It was nice to get through five. We were efficient."
Cole struck out Mike Tauchman in his first exchange of the scrimmage. He then allowed a first-pitch home run to Miguel Andujar -- the only hit he allowed -- before he settled in.
"He looks like he's in midseason form already," Yankees infielder Luke Voit said. "They always say in the big leagues, you get one pitch a pitcher is going to miss.
"I faced him five times and I feel like I might have gotten one. He does his homework on us. He knows what he's doing up there."
Cole, 29, had an American League-best 2.50 ERA and a 20-5 record in 33 starts last season for the Houston Astros. The three-time All-Star also led Major League Baseball with 326 strikeouts. Cole has a career 3.22 ERA in seven seasons.
"I thought he threw the ball really well, and I thought he finished well, too," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "That was the thing I thought was good to see: His stuff was really good from start to finish.
"I felt like in some ways, he even got a little bit sharper and in a good rhythm, especially with his slider later."
Cole is scheduled to start for the Yankees when they battle the World Series champion Washington Nationals on July 23 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. He will likely face Nationals ace Max Scherzer.