Yankees lose key starting pitcher to shoulder injury

nestor cortes, yankees
May 24, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes (65) reacts after allowing a three run home run to Baltimore Orioles second baseman Adam Frazier (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees continue to grapple with a wave of injuries, most recently losing Harrison Bader, Greg Allen, and relief pitcher Ryan Weber to the injured list.

While the team has seen the return of Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson, and Tommy Kahnle from injury, they anticipate yet another key player joining the injured list in the coming days.

Notable left-handed starter, Nestor Cortés, has endured a turbulent year thus far, with a 5.16 ERA, 5.00 xFIP, 8.95 strikeouts per nine, and a 68.2% left-on-base rate.

The Yankees are gearing up to lose Nestor Cortes:

Regrettably, Cortés has been contending with a persistent shoulder injury over recent weeks. As this shoulder problem increasingly hampers his performance, the Yankees have arranged for him to undergo an MRI, and it is highly likely he will join the injured list as well.

Cortés has allowed eight earned runs in his last three appearances, a marked improvement from his prior stint, during which he conceded 15 earned runs over three games.

Nevertheless, it was evident that his performance had changed, as he was not able to generate sufficient break on his pitches and exhibited a decrease in velocity.

The 28-year-old plays a vital role in the rotation, contributing variety with his left-handed pitching. In his absence, the Yankees might turn to two Triple-A players, Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez.

Brito previously left the Yankees with a 5.58 ERA over 40.1 innings but holds a 3.60 ERA in Triple-A over 10 innings. Conversely, Vasquez earned a 3.86 ERA over 4.2 innings but has found the Triple-A level challenging with a 5.13 ERA.

Unfortunately, the team lacks quality backup options, having already utilized their primary reserves.

Domingo Germán and Clarke Schmidt will have to elevate their performance over the next few weeks, with the hope that $162 million free-agent acquisition Carlos Rodon will make a timely return. Rodon recently completed a 30-pitch bullpen session and is expected to start facing live hitters in the coming days.

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