Nestor Cortes’ return infuses Yankees with renewed hope

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Yankees popular starter  Nestor Cortes is poised to make a comeback to the Yankees’ rotation and is scheduled to start on Saturday afternoon against the Astros. Despite his quick rehab turnaround, manager Aaron Boone anticipates that the left-hander will make a significant impact and contribute significantly to the team.

Since May 30,  Nestor Cortes has been sidelined due to a left rotator cuff strain and had originally planned to make a third rehab start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday. As an alternative plan, Nestor Cortes’ return to the majors was expedited when Domingo German was put on the restricted list on Wednesday to receive treatment for alcohol abuse.

Nestor Cortes stated on Friday, before the Yankees and Astros played in The Bronx, that he felt prepared to return. He mentioned that his readiness was more about the progression he had undergone during the third rehab outing, primarily due to the pitch count not being sufficient.

Nestor Cortes is looking forward to his start

The Yankees starter expressed his anticipation for the chance that lies ahead. Nestor Cortes told with a smile that he was feeling great and excited about the start on Saturday. He expressed his hope that the next 24 hours would pass swiftly so that he could get into action as soon as possible.

During the first half of the season, Nestor Cortes couldn’t replicate the success he achieved in his 2022 All-Star season campaign, where he boasted a remarkable 12-4 record with a 2.44 ERA across 28 starts.

Throughout the 2023 season thus far, Nestor Cortes has appeared in 11 games and pitched a total of 59 ¹/₃ innings. Within this time, he has achieved a 5-2 record with a 5.16 ERA, giving up 58 hits, 34 earned runs, and 19 walks, while successfully recording 59 strikeouts.

Nestor Cortes is confident that he has the capability to return to his 2022 performance level, which is precisely where the Yankees require him to be. This becomes especially crucial as they currently find themselves just 2 ½ games behind the Blue Jays for the final AL wild-card spot as of Friday.

Nestor Cortes mentioned that during the first half of the season, his initial five innings of work were promising, although the statistics may not reflect that. However, he acknowledged that in the sixth or seventh innings, he encountered difficulties. He made an exception for a particular game against Texas where he faced challenges early on. Nestor Cortes added that he had been dealing with some health issues in some of his starts, but he tried to push through them, hoping they would improve with time, which unfortunately did not happen.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes at Yankee Stadium.

Cortes is ready to make a comeback

Nestor Cortes admitted that being back to his usual self now might assist him in performing well in the sixth and seventh innings. The Yankees starting pitcher felt his command wasn’t up to par during the first half of the season due to some soreness and issues with his shoulder. These factors prevented him from fully controlling the ball as he desired. However, Nestor Cortes expressed optimism that now, being in a healthier state, his command would improve, as that was his primary focus moving forward.

The statistics speak for themselves. In the current season, Nestor Cortes boasts an impressive 1.84 ERA in innings 1-4, while his performance takes a significant hit with a staggering 14.67 ERA in innings 5-7.

According to Nestor Cortes, there hasn’t been a “specific count” given to him for Saturday’s game, and Manager Boone hasn’t provided a pitch number either. However, he is “imagining” of throwing 60 or more pitches, as that was the initial plan for his canceled rehab start scheduled on Wednesday.

Boone commented on Nestor Cortes’ skills as an outstanding pitcher in the league. He expressed that Nestor is currently in a favorable physical condition and has been performing exceptionally well during the past month, both in his buildups and live sessions, as well as in his actual game performances.

Boone remarked that Nestor Cortes is not fully built up yet but expressed his belief that Nestor could provide a significant boost to the team.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Nestor Cortes’ return infuses Yankees with renewed hope

  1. Nester will pitch a shutout but the Yankees will still be outhit and lose to Verlander. Just forfit game. Yankees wont have a chance

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