Akshita Patel

“Big Step Forward,” Nestor Cortes Edge Past Injury Woes In First Spring Appearance For Yankees

The New York Yankees missed Nestor Cortes’ services big-time last season. The starting pitcher was sidelined due to a rotator cuff strain, which forced him to miss the second half of the season. In his absence, the Bombers were forced to field a four-man rotation due to a lack of depth options.

Regardless, the Yankees trusted Nestor Cortes and retained him for the coming 2024 season, irrespective of his injury concerns. Meanwhile, the pitcher turned up for his first spring appearance on the mound earlier this week. After a successful outing, Cortes opened up on his present health status and rebound plans.


Nestor Cortes Debuts In Spring With 48 Pitch Outing

Nestor Cortes
Nestor Cortes reacts after striking out Minnesota Twins catcher Jair Camargo with the bases loaded to end the first inning. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

A rotator cuff strain saw Nestor Cortes getting sidelined for six weeks mid-season in 2023. However, even after recovery, Cortes landed back on IL in just a week after reinstatement. Apparently, the pitcher rushed through rehab, which led to an unfortunate relapse. Eventually, the New York Yankees chose to shut him down for the season, and playoff hopes plummeted in September. Nevertheless, Cortes has had a normal off-season. He recovered well and trained hard at Tampa under the guidance of the club’s officially appointed conditioning staff. That being said, after rigorous rehab and complete recovery, Cortes took the mound against the Minnesota Twins in his spring debut for the season on Monday. The pitcher lasted 2.2 innings and threw 48 pitches in the process.

Cortes’ fastballs came to life and accounted for three of his four strikeouts. While he allowed two runs on seven hits, Nestor Cortes was more than happy with his initial spring outing. He termed his outing a positive start and a big step in the right direction. Cortes was also satisfied with his pitch accuracy. But the biggest takeaway happened to be that he got out healthy. Additionally, the starting pitcher affirmed that the rotator cuff strain injury is past him. “I already passed that phase where maybe November-December,” said Cortes. While Cortes confessed to being worried about his shoulder health at times, he trusted the process and the work he put in during rehabilitation. “It’s been a non-issue for a good month now, so I feel great where I’m at,” confirmed Cortes. Overall, Nestor Cortes’ return to form is considered a big boost for the Yankees ahead of the rebound of the 2024 MLB season.

Yankees Dark Horse Makes Waves In Spring Debut

Jorbit Vivas Dodgers
Jorbit Vivas Dodgers Source: True Blue LA

In an interesting emergence of a rare talent, Jorbit Vivas made waves with his spring debut against Twins on Monday. He slammed two homers, including a three-run hit. He is 2-for-3 in two games with four additional RBIs. Certainly, the New York Yankees weren’t expecting Vivas to rake in Grapefruit League this year.

The Yankees claimed Jorbit Vivas from LA Dodgers this off-season along with LHP Victor Gonzalez. However, Vivas was considered a throw-in part of the package until his spring debut. Notably, Vivas slashed .269/.381/.407 with 13 home runs and 63 RBIs in Triple-A for the Dodgers last year. He is an interesting infield talent capable of a major debut sometime in the future.

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