Yankees will put left-handers Nestor Cortes on the injury list 15 days before tomorrow’s match, according to Lindsey Adler from Athletics. Cortes has suffered a groin injury. As reported earlier todayNew York is preparing to place a then-unknown pitcher in IL to make room for minor league right-hander promotions Greg Weissert.
While any throwing injury would be a setback, losing Cortes for any length of time was a heavy blow to the Bronx Bombers. “Nasty Nestor” is arguably the Yankees’ best starter this season, and one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. After surprisingly emerging as a rotational supporter in 2021, Cortes continued to roll, posting a 2.68 ERA and above-average strikeout rate (25.9%) and running (5.8%) over 131 innings. Despite the four seamer’s low speed, Cortes’ fastball has been extremely effective, and its cutters aren’t far behind in terms of sheer effectiveness.
While Cortes’ 131 innings is a new career high for the 27-year-old during any pro season, there hasn’t been much sign that Cortes is slowing down, and he’s expected to be a big gun for the Yankees in October. This 15-day IL stint could probably be a bit of a break in terms of keeping Cortes’ arm fresh, though of course his groin problem is now a new concern. The severity of the injury or Cortes’ possible return schedule is not yet known.
New York enjoyed excellent field health during the first half of the season, but several injuries have surfaced in recent weeks. Bullpen has borne the brunt of the injury, but the rotation is not yet invulnerable, with Louis Severino out until mid-September with a lat injury and now a Cortes injury. Yankees acquire Frankie Montas from A on deadline but also moved Jordan Montgomery to the Cardinals in other trades, plus German Domingo has been a bit inconsistent (if generally solid) since making his season debut in July, after a shoulder problem ruled him out.
Clarke Schmidt was recently recalled to the active roster, and the former first-round player seems like a possible candidate for Cortes’ rotation spot. Over 22 games and 45 2/3 career innings at MLB level in 2020-22, Schmidt made just three starts, but the Yankees have mostly used him in extended assists this season and stretched him in Triple-A.