Nestor Cortes cites adversities in career as key to preparation for playoffs

Nestor Cortes, player of the Yankees
Michael Bennington
Friday October 14, 2022

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All eyes are on Nestor Cortes, the Yankees’ most reliable pitcher this season. After Gerrit Cole ensured the win in the ALDS Game 1, fans and teammates expect Cortes to turn it into a 2-0 series lead on Friday.

As the New York Yankees look to Nestor Cortes and there is a growing fan following for the otherwise physically diminutive player, the starting pitcher should be under extreme pressure. However, “Nast Nestor” is different and he has faced so many adversities in life that no stressful condition can unnerve him.

“Heading into these playoffs, a lot of people have been bringing up pressure and nerves,” says Nestor Cortes, “But I’ve already had to face so much adversity in my career, even just to get to this point. So I feel like I’ve prepared my brain and my body to deal with any stressful stuff that may come at me during this run.”

Nestor Cortes wrote an article about his experience in the baseball game in general and the Yankees in particular for the Players’ Tribune.

Nestor Cortes tries his best in every game and throws like it was his last opportunity to prove himself. According to him:

“First game of the season, last game, random game against a bad team, huge rivalry game — it doesn’t matter. It’s always there. Always. Because I treat every start like it could be my last one. For me, any time I take the mound, I’m thinking, This game, right now … this just might be your last opportunity ever to prove what you can do. So you better be ready to go.”

Nestor Cortes is also thankful to fans and teammates for their continued support despite too many adversities in his career. He wrote:

“Yankees fans know what I’m talking about. They remember me from before. They realize I had to scratch and claw (and work!) to make it back to the majors after getting traded away a few years ago. Even some of the guys in our locker room now, they were around when I was with the team back then. Those guys — Aaron, D.J., Gleyber, Stanton — they saw me struggle. All those guys saw this 25-year-old kid trying to prove to himself that he belonged. They saw what a challenge it was for me at times. And now … it’s just really special because they’re all so pumped for me.”

The starting pitcher admits that one time he thought his career was finished. He penned it:

“I’m pretty sure none of them saw this coming back then. And to be honest with you, part of me can’t even believe this is all happening. If you would’ve told me in 2018 or 2019, “Hey, you’re actually going to be an All-Star in 2022. You’ll be one of the top starters in the league,” I would’ve said you were lying. Like, “Stop bulls***ting me, man.”

I remember getting DFA’d by the Orioles at one point a few years ago, and it was like, Nestor, your career is over. You’re done. You just got DFA’d by a last-place team. It’s over.”

He says that every time New York plays a series away from home, the players choose a room to hang out in after the games. Cortes says it’s just room service and smack talk, which doesn’t sound like much, but there’s more to it than that.

He wrote:

“I couldn’t love those times more than I do. For me, that’s what it’s all about right there. And I think that’s a big part of why we’ve had each other’s backs this year, and how we’ve become this unit.”

Game 2 of the American League Division Series between the Yankees and the Cleveland Guardians was scheduled to take place on Thursday evening at Yankee Stadium. However, due to inclement weather, the game was moved to Friday at 1:07 p.m. instead.

When Game 3 is played at Progressive Field in Cleveland, the Yankees will have the opportunity to carry on the tradition that they have established there.

Nestor Cortes is convinced that the coming weeks will bring good fortune. He expects his team to do better and win the playoffs.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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