Posted on: June 5, 2023, 10:57h.
Last updated on: June 5, 2023, 11:52h.
New York Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes is headed to the IL with a left shoulder injury.
The Yankees recently completed a six-game road trip on the West Coast. Cortes will undergo an MRI on Monday or Tuesday to gauge the severity of his shoulder injury, and he’s expected to miss a few starts.
We don’t think it’s anything too major,” said manager Aaron Boone. “The last couple of times recovering in between, he’s had that achiness. That’s the trainers sense, that this is probably not surgery. But then again, we’re speculating there.”
Cortes was slated to start on Tuesday to open a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox, but righty Clarke Schmidt will now get the call. Rookie right-hander Jhony Brito (3-3, 5.58 ERA, 1.49 WHIP) is expected to replace Cortes in the rotation.
The Yankees are dealing with multiple injuries to their starting rotation. Right-hander Luis Severino began the season on the IL with a lat strain and finally made his season debut in May. Veteran righty Frankie Montas will miss the entire season while recovering from shoulder surgery.
The Yankees signed left-handed Carlos Rodon in the off-season, but he has yet to pitch an inning. Rodon began the season on the IL with a strained forearm, but chronic back pain derailed his rehab. There is no timetable for Rodon, but the Yankees hope he can make his first start by the end of June.
Cortes Extra Sore, Not as Nasty
Pitchers experience soreness after every start, but Cortes has been suffering from excessive soreness. Cortes didn’t think he sustained an injury and never told the training staff about the lingering soreness.
He was unable to pitch in a bullpen session on his off day last week, and finally told Boone and the trainers about his injury.
Hopefully, these images come back better, and I’ll do some exercises and some treatment,” Cortes told reporters. “If it’s just inflamed, hopefully the inflammation goes down and I’ll get ready to pitch again.”
Cortes emerged as a valuable member of the rotation last season and earned the moniker “Nasty Nestor” for his dominance on the mound. In 28 starts in 2022, the left-handed Cortes went 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. He posted a WAR of 4.2.
Cortes nursed a hamstring injury in spring training and missed one start in the opening week of the season.
Cortes started 11 total games this season, but he hasn’t looked as sharp as he did last season. He posted a 5-2 record with a 5.16 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, with 59 strikeouts. His current WAR is 0.1.
The Yankees went 3-1 in Cortes’ first four starts, and he began the season with a 3-0 record. His next four starts were rough outings. He had an 0-2 record and two no-decisions, but the Yankees went 2-2 in those outings.
Cortes bounced back with solid performances in his last three outings. The Yankees went 2-1 and he won two games.
In his last start against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, Cortes tossed a season-high 101 pitches in a 10-2 victory. He coughed up two runs, gave up five hits, and struck out six in five innings.
Bronx Bombers Back to Bashing
The Yankees are 36-25 and currently occupy third place in the top-heavy American League East.
If the Yankees were in the National League, they’d have the best record in the NL. They recently won a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, taking two out of three games in LA over the weekend.
The Yankees are 6-2 in their last eight games after bouncing back from a three-game skid.
At the end of April, the Yankees were 15-15 and hit their low point of the season. The Yankees are 21-10 since the start of May and went 8-1-1 in series play. Their turnaround coincided with the season debut of outfielder Harrison Bader, who returned from an oblique injury after missing the start of the season.
Reigning MVP Aaron Judge also spent a short stint on the IL in the first week of May with a hip injury. Since his return, Judge bashed 13 home runs and drove in 25 runs.
Judge leads the AL with 19 home runs.
Judge leads the AL with 19 home runs. Only Pete Alonso from the New York Mets, with 21 long balls, has hit more home runs than Judge. Alonso has appeared in 60 games this season, but Judge played in only 49.
Despite a banged-up rotation, ace Gerrit Cole has been dealing this season and has yet to lose a start. In 13 starts, the right-handed Cole has a 7-0 record with a 2.82 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. He also struck out 84 batters.
Betting the Third-Place Yankees
The Tampa Bay Rays have the best record in baseball at 42-19. The Rays sit atop the AL East standings with a four-game lead over the second-place Baltimore Orioles (37-22). The Yankees are two games behind the Orioles and trail the Rays by six games.
The Rays are the betting favorite to win the AL East at -190 odds, according to DraftKings. The Yankees are +330 odds to clinch the division title. The Rays are also the favorite to win the AL pennant at +290 odds, ahead of the Houston Astros (+340) and Yankees (+500).
The Yankees are +900 odds to win the World Series and are currently fifth on the MLB futures board. The Atlanta Braves are the consensus favorite to win the World Series at +425 odds, followed by the Dodgers (+550), Rays (+600), and defending champion Astros (+650).
The Yankees are -425 odds to reach the playoffs, according to a prop bet from DraftKings. The Yankees are currently +340 odds to miss the postseason.
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