Yankees Injury Update: Luis Severino trending up, Cortes fighting illness

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Oct 14, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes (65) reacts after throwing out Cleveland Guardians center fielder Myles Straw (not pictured) during the fourth inning in game two of the ALDS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Before the New York Yankees faced the Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday night, General Manager Brian Cashman and Manager Aaron Boone addressed the media. Cashman called for patience and stated that the organization is doing everything possible to improve the roster but will not force any trades at this stage of the season. The Yankees have been dealing with a constant stream of issues, particularly in regard to injuries.

Fortunately, they received some positive news with Jake Bauers returning to the lineup on Wednesday night and Luis Severino expects to begin a rehab assignment on Thursday with the Tampa Tarpons.

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Yankees anticipate the return of a key starting pitcher soon:

The team had hoped to welcome back both Severino and Carlos Rodon, but the latter will undergo further testing while Severino accelerates his progress to rejoin the squad. In 2022, Severino enjoyed a solid bounce-back season, pitching 102 innings and posting a 3.18 ERA. He struck out nearly 10 batters per nine innings, with an 80% left-on-base rate and a 44.3% ground ball rate. His velocity even increased to 96.3 mph, although still shy of the 97.7 average from 2018.

The Yankees desperately need rotation support, having relied on supplementary pieces Clarke Schmidt, Domingo German, and Jhony Brito. All three have faced challenges, but Schmidt has been particularly problematic. Over 25 innings this season, he has a 6.84 ERA with a 21.2% HR/FB ratio and a 64.3% left-on-base rate. Despite striking out 11.52 batters per nine innings, he continues to encounter resistance from opposing hitters.

Regarding struggling starting pitchers, lefty standout Nestor Cortes had a horrid performance against the Texas Rangers this past weekend. In 4.2 innings, he allowed seven earned runs, including three home runs. However, Boone revealed that Cortes has been dealing with strep throat, which affected his performance.

Cortes’ ERA rose to 4.91 for the season, even though his overall numbers appear solid. His ground ball rate has plummeted to a mere 19.8%, so he aims to improve that statistic moving forward. His next start will be pushed back a few days to ensure his recovery.

While the Yankees could certainly benefit from a stronger rotation, their offense has been the most significant issue. They hope Bauers can contribute some production after being sidelined following a phenomenal catch in the first inning during his Yankees debut several days ago.