Nestor Cortes starts Thursday against Twins

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Nestor Cortes, who was sidelined with a groin injury, will start the final game of the series against the Twins on Thursday in New York. According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, the pitcher is off the 15-day injured list after successful recovery and can throw without pain. It looks like Cortes won’t need a rehab start to get back into the rotation. The Yankees don’t seem worried about activating him after he threw 45 live pitches in batting practice over the weekend. Before the southpaw gets the green light for a comeback from the injury list, he pitched a bullpen session on Monday or Tuesday as one last test to show that the left groin strain was no more bothering him. Cortes could be limited to a certain number of pitches if he starts on Thursday as planned, and Clarke Schmidt could follow him. Earlier the Cuban-American pitcher expressed hope to return to active duty with the Yankees as early as this week against the Twins at Yankee Stadium.
“It was great, it went as I expected,” the pitcher told to media after 45 pitches in a minor league game in Tampa. Cortes added, “That tests my groin more when I drop down but I never stopped throwing so I don’t really have to build myself back up.”
Cortes no more was in pain during the game or bullpen sessions, where he pitched before manager Aaron Boone. Under-pressure manager Boone too found Cortes healthy, good, and fit to return. He threw at a speed of 92-94 mph, which was his usual in games played before the groin injury. Pitching coach Matt Blake was also there to evaluate the fitness of the 2022 All-start. The left hander moved to a 15-day injured list on August 25. However, his early return is a big reprieve for embattled coach Boone and the injury-riddled Yankees. Cortes joined the New York Yankees in the 2013 MLB draft before playing for the Orioles as a relief pitcher in 2018. He returned to New York the next year and had his first MLB win. The left-handed pitcher threw for the Mariners in 2020. He returned to have his third major league stint with the Yankees in 2021. The Yankees expect a boost with the returns of Cortes and Dominican pitcher Luis Severino, who has recovered from strained lat. Can Nestor Cortes return help the Yankees stop the slump? Will Cortes be able to win games against the Twins?

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