Cortes’ flashiest outing turns rough, Yankees worried over injury scare


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Yankees pitcher Nestor Cortes is renowned for his unique sense of fashion, extending even to his choice of footwear on the pitcher’s mound. He frequently showcases custom-designed cleats crafted by his friend, a Miami-based shoe designer known as Soles by Sir.

During a recent Yankees game against the Minnesota Twins, Cortes unveiled his latest creation, sparking intrigue among spectators. His cleats resembled blue denim jeans, complete with meticulously stitched pockets. However, functionality overshadowed fashion on this occasion. The pockets proved to be cumbersome, flapping around and impeding Cortes’ pitching motion. Consequently, he was compelled to remove them before taking the mound.

The unconventional design elicited a range of responses. While Yankees manager Aaron Boone acknowledged the creativity behind the concept, he offered a somewhat reserved appraisal, remarking, “They looked better from afar. That’s my opinion.” Despite the adjustments made on-field, Cortes’ custom cleats continue to spark conversation, reflecting his playful personality and penchant for individuality.

During his recent spring training appearance, the Yankees pitcher maintained a light-hearted demeanor despite encountering both pitching challenges and a fashion misstep. Cortes acknowledged the team’s primary objective of building strength and readiness for the season ahead. While he attempted to infuse a personal flair with his custom cleats, he recognized that not everyone appreciated the design. Taking this lesson in stride, he expressed his intent to concentrate solely on his pitching going forward.

Regrettably, Cortes’ pitching woes on Saturday overshadowed his fashion statement. The Yankees star yielded nine hits and six runs in a mere 3 1/3 innings, issuing one walk while striking out six. A turbulent second inning led to his premature departure from the game, conceding more runs than anticipated.

While Cortes contended with some well-struck balls, including a first-inning home run by Byron Buxton, he attributed at least four of the runs he allowed to the challenging conditions at Hammond Stadium. Yankees manager Aaron Boone echoed this sentiment, attributing the difficulties to “one of those Florida wind/sun days.”

Despite the challenging outing, Cortes’ positive outlook indicates that he is taking his setbacks in his stride and remains dedicated to his preparations for the forthcoming season.

Unpredictable wind gusts significantly influenced the recent spring training game for the Yankees, impacting both the outcome and triggering a couple of injury concerns.

With the Yankees leading 2-1 in the second inning, their advantage swiftly dissolved due to a bases-loaded flyball scenario. With two outs, Byron Buxton launched a flyball to center field. However, the swirling wind wreaked havoc, transforming what seemed like a routine out into a bases-clearing triple. This costly hit forced starting pitcher Nestor Cortes out of the game, and a subsequent single by Carlos Correa added another run, placing the Twins in the lead.

Moreover, the blustery conditions were implicated in one of two incidents raising worries about player safety. In the bottom of the sixth, non-roster reliever Nick Burdi found himself entangled with first baseman Oswaldo Cabrera while attempting to corral a wind-blown popup. Cabrera’s dive to make the catch propelled him into foul territory, where he collided with Burdi in the infield. Although the play momentarily shook everyone, Burdi, a strong contender for a Yankees Opening Day roster spot, received medical attention and completed the inning after a brief assessment.

Injury clouds hang over Yankees


While the Yankees clinched a victory in their recent spring training matchup, the celebratory atmosphere was dampened by a duo of injury concerns involving pitchers Nick Burdi and Jorbit Vivas.

Manager Aaron Boone conveyed apprehension following Burdi’s ankle roll during a field play. Although Boone couldn’t provide precise details regarding the injury, witnessing a pitcher sustain any form of ailment naturally sparks concern.

Heightening the unease, a fastball hurled by Twins reliever Kody Funderburk struck Yankees prospect Jorbit Vivas on the helmet during the eighth inning. The 84-mph “sweeper” occurred amidst a lefty-on-lefty matchup, compelling Vivas to exit the game.

Despite the tension, Yankees skipper Boone provided some consolation, mentioning that Vivas “held up well” post-impact and appeared to be “alright” following the incident. While the severity of both injuries remains uncertain, these near-misses serve as poignant reminders of the inherent risks inherent in baseball, even in the context of spring training.

Cortes focuses on positives despite struggles


Despite conceding six runs in his recent spring training outing, Cortes discovered reasons for optimism. His primary objective was to control his pitch count, aiming for approximately four innings and around 60 pitches. The Yankees star successfully achieved this target and, most importantly, was pleased to conclude the game without any injury concerns, emphasizing his contentment with his current physical condition.

Yankees manager Boone echoed Cortes’ positive sentiments. He acknowledged the taxing second inning, during which Cortes battled through fatigue to navigate a high-pressure situation. Boone also pointed out that a clean catch by center fielder Greg Allen could have significantly altered the inning’s trajectory. Nevertheless, he found encouragement in Cortes’ ability to finish strongly, maintaining his pitch sharpness as he approached the 60-pitch mark. This resilience and endurance exhibited by the Yankees pitcher are promising indicators as the regular season approaches.

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