Losing additional starting pitchers is certainly not a preference for the New York Yankees, who are already preparing for life without Frankie Montas the first month of the regular season. Spring training is just 10 days away, and the team is already facing a few unexpected issues.
The latest injury to starting pitcher Nestor Cortés came out of left field. He was preparing to pitch in the World Baseball Classic for Team USA but unfortunately had to bow out, having picked up a hamstring tweak. Of course, fear spread quickly throughout the Yankee fan base, especially after Montas was ruled out several weeks ago, and most were waiting for more inevitable bad news.
“I didn’t think of it much,” he said. “I thought it was just a cramp, then later that night I went to put on a shoe and felt a little pull there. Once I showed up (to Tampa) with a little bruise, the medical staff decided to take control of it.”Cortes told reporters in Florida.
Luckily, Cortes doesn’t believe it is a serious injury that will hold him back for the regular season. Even if he’s forced to miss one or two starts, it won’t be a significant amount of time missed, as the Yankees are preparing to sit him down for two weeks as he rehabilitates.
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The Yankees can’t afford to lose Nestor Cortes:
The 28-year-old lefty is one of the more important players on the team this year, especially coming off an All-Star appearance during the 2022 season. He enjoyed a team-best 2.44 ERA, 3.63 xFIP, 9.27 strikeouts per nine, 82.8% left on base rate, and 33.5% ground ball rate across 158.1 innings. He also enjoyed a career-low 0.91 home runs per nine allowed and an 8.2% HR/FB ratio.
Optimism regarding his return timetable should soften the news a bit, but the Yankees and players have downplayed injuries before, so we should keep a close eye on his progress about 1.5 months out from the start of the regular season.
“…it’s something that’s definitely doable to start the season off healthy and in the rotation. So hopefully the training staff will help me get to that point.”