Nestor Cortes falters in Spring Training, Yankees slide extends

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In a disappointing turn of events, the New York Yankees fell to the Minnesota Twins in a messy exhibition game, ending with a score of 10-7. Nestor Cortes, once an All-Star, endured a challenging outing, notably victimized by Byron Buxton during his brief 3.1 innings on the mound.

Nestor Cortes’ denim Cleats: A bold fashion statement on the mound

Nestor Cortes, the Yankees’ starter, made a striking fashion statement as he took the mound against the Twins on Saturday, donning a pair of denim cleats. These weren’t just any denim shoes; they were custom Nike creations by Miami-based artist Marcus Rivero, known as Soles by Sir. Cortes and Rivero collaborated on the design, which featured unique touches like back pockets and even a mustache patch resembling Cortes’ facial hair. Manager Aaron Boone, though reserved in his appraisal, acknowledged the creativity and uniqueness of the denim cleats. Cortes, amused by the attention, admitted he hadn’t anticipated Rivero going all out with the design. Despite the novelty of his footwear, Cortes remained focused on his performance, recognizing that Spring Training is about both experimentation and preparation.

Nestor Cortes, player of the new york yankees
MLB

Nestor Cortes’ outing, amidst the novelty of his denim cleats, carried significance beyond his fashion choice. Following a challenging previous season marked by injuries, including shoulder issues, Cortes entered Spring Training determined to reclaim his All-Star form. Despite a rough outing against the Twins, Cortes expressed confidence in his recovery and performance, highlighting his strengthened shoulder and endurance. While Cortes’ performance against the Twins may have been lackluster, he remained upbeat about his progress and determination to excel in the upcoming season. Boone, light-heartedly suggesting the cleats might need to be “retired,” reflected the jovial spirit surrounding Cortes’ unconventional footwear. Despite the jest, Cortes’ focus on recovery and performance underscores his commitment to success, both on and off the field.

Yankees’ veterans sit out Spring Training

Unlike the tradition of veterans skipping spring training games, the Yankees‘ seasoned players like Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole opted out of this trip to Fort Myers. The absence of these key players perhaps contributed to the team’s struggle on the field.

Nestor Cortes, player of the new york yankees
Sports Illustrated

The game kicked off with a burst of energy from the Yankees‘ young players. Anthony Volpe showcased his remarkable speed with a leadoff single in the top of the first inning, capitalizing on a misplay by Twins’ starter Bailey Ober. Following Volpe’s hit, Austin Wells launched a powerful home run, propelling the Yankees to an early 2-0 lead.

However, the Twins quickly responded, with Byron Buxton delivering a substantial blow to Cortes with a long home run, narrowing the Yankees’ lead to 2-1. Buxton continued to torment Cortes, notching two triples and driving in crucial runs for the Twins in the second and fourth innings. Despite Cortes’ six strikeouts and relatively low walk count, his performance was marred by nine hits allowed in just 3.1 innings, raising concerns about his form for the upcoming season.

Relief pitchers Nick Burdi and Oddanier Mosqueda displayed commendable efforts, with Mosqueda recording three swinging strikeouts. However, their contributions weren’t enough to offset the damage inflicted earlier in the game.

The Yankees managed to stage a modest comeback in the later innings, with Josh VanMeter hitting his first home run of the spring and Everson Pereira contributing a two-run single. Despite their efforts, the Twins extended their lead with two additional runs in the eighth inning.

Looking ahead, the Yankees will face the Atlanta Braves in their next game, likely with a stronger lineup featuring more experienced players. As the spring training progresses, the team aims to refine their performance and build momentum for the upcoming season.

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