The New York Yankees are dealing with a multitude of injuries at the moment, stifling their offensive capabilities and hurting the starting rotation. Losing Nestor Cortes to a groin injury was certainly a shock, but manager Aaron Boone is confident he will make a quick recovery and help the team down the stretch.
Cortes was placed on the 15-day injured list, but is already preparing to ramp up and start throwing once again.
“I don’t know if it’s going to be right at 15 days,” Boone said. “We’ll see. It depends on when he’s able to get on the mound, and that’ll tell us a lot. But he’s doing well.”
Boone indicated that Cortes would start throwing early this week, gearing up to rejoin the team.
“I’m hoping that’s this trip at some point, but I don’t know if that’s going to be the backend in Anaheim, or if that’s going to be at some point when we’re in Tampa,” Boone added.
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According to Marly Rivera of ESPN, Cortes is on track to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and likely a live session in Tampa on Saturday. If things go well, he will be injected right back into the rotation, hopefully gaining some good momentum before the playoffs where he expects to feature as a primary starter when the rotation condenses.
Nestor Cortes has been a surprise star for the Yankees:
On the season, Cortes features a a 2.68 ERA, 3.71 xFIP, 9.14 strikeouts per nine, 83.3% left on base rate, and 32. 7% ground ball rate over 131 innings. He’s by far having his best season as a professional, breaching 100 inning‘s pitched for the first time in his career.
Nestor has changed his pitch sequence recently, relying less on his cutter and more on his fastball. His 4-seam is generating a .179 average against with a 25.5% whiff rate and 21% put-away rate.
In fact, his 4-seam fastball produces 20% more vertical movement than the average pitcher, featuring 12.9 inches of drop. Alternatively, his cutter provides 4.8 inches of break, 98% better than the average pitcher.
When mixing those two pitches in successfully, opposing batters find it extremely difficult to decipher his sequence, especially since he uses many different arm angles.
Cortes has earned his way into the playoff rotation, likely featuring as the No. 3 option behind Gerrit Cole and Frankie Montas. His short spell on the injured list is likely a way to mitigate fatigue and provide him a bit of time to rest up before the home stretch.