Yankees’ lefty starter ‘feeling good’ after running into rehab troubles

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 Yankees are betting big that several pitchers will bounce back from injury in 2024, notably Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes. Rodon has been working diligently over the past few months to drop weight and quell any issues he faced in 2023, specifically a chronic back injury, left forearm strain, and hamstring issues.

Rodon is coming off his worst professional season after signing a six-year, $162 million deal with the Yankees, but he is confident and optimistic that he will turn things around. As for Cortes, his rehab hasn’t gone as smoothly, struggling to get over a left rotator cuff strain he sustained last season season, ending his year prematurely.

Cortes, now 29, hosted a 4.97 ERA over 63.1 innings, certainly not representing the numbers he put together in 2022, his first All-Star appearance. He posted a 2.44 ERA over 158.1 innings that season, so the Yankees know what he’s capable of when 100% healthy.

Aiming for a Healthy Comeback

Fortunately, Cortes is heading in a much better direction after joining up with the Yankees training staff in December to push things over the hump. According to Greg Joyce of the New York Post, Cortes is “feeling good” and his rehab has taken a turn for the better, which is exactly what the bombers needed going into spring training.

Last season, Cortes saw his velocity dip slightly and his pitch quality drop off a cliff, which was anticipated given he was dealing with a shoulder injury to his throwing arm. If he can bounce back and offer the Yankees a competent arm in the middle of the rotation, the unit should be in a decent spot to compete in 2024.

Yankees Scouring for Reinforcements

General manager Brian Cashman knows that he’s running a risk with several players bouncing back from injury, but he continues to scour the market for available options, whether it be free agency or via trade.

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