Credit: Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

The New York Yankees need Nestor Cortes to deliver in the absence of Gerrit Cole. It scared the fans when the 2023 AL Cy Young winner got injured in spring training. If last year taught the team and the fans anything, then these injuries are never a good sign. But talking about last season, the ace pitcher of the NY side was the best performer for the team. Cole had a career-best season that earned him the Cy Young award. On the other hand, key players like Aaron Judge and others suffered injuries and missed several games. These injuries eventually weakened the Yankees, and they could not make the postseason. However, Gerrit Cole facing injury problems was the last thing the team and the fans would have wanted.

But in 2024 Spring Training, the Yankees ace pitcher hurt his right elbow. Later, due to inflammation in his right elbow, the doctors ordered him to stay out for one to two months. Since Gerrit Cole is the best-starting pitcher the Bronx Bombers have by a long shot, missing him for two months is not an ideal situation, and that too very early in the season. In his absence, starters like Nestor Cortes, Carlos Rodon, Marcus Stroman, and so on must step up. Lately, that’s exactly what Cortes did against the Miami Marlins at the Yankee Stadium.


Nestor Cortes Stepped Up For The Yankees Against The Marlins

Nestor Cortes Jr. and catcher Jose Trevino USA TODAY Sports

So far in 2024, the Yankees have not lost a series. They beat the Houston Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks on the road. Later, they returned home to beat the Toronto Blue Jays. Lately, they have started the home series against the Miami Marlins really well. On Monday, the NY side won 7-0. Nestor Cortes delivered when the Bronx Bombers needed some length from their starter. Moreover, Cortes came out with an eight-inning and two-hit performance. He impressed the fans as well as the manager. After the game on Monday, Aaron Boone mentioned that he thought Cortes had pretty good command.

Moreover, the skipper mentioned that Cortes was able to get the balls to the spot where he wanted to throughout the night. But changeup was a factor for the starting pitcher. However, the NY side’s manager is happy with Nestor’s efficient and eight-inning start for the team. Moreover, Aaron Boone said, as per SNY, that they talked about the changeup pitch prior to the game and wanted to deploy that one. The manager also said it was good to see Cortes mix it into the gameplan by featuring it enough. Finally, Boone said he felt Nestor did a good job of “Using it and making that pitch a factor.” 

The Starter Felt Executing The Changeup Pitch Was The Biggest Thing For Him

Nestor Cortes, Yankees

Nestor Cortes threw the changeup 11 times in the win. It induced three whiffs, a called strike, and a couple of foul balls. Previously, the starter had not thrown too many changeups in the two starts he had this season before and the whole of last season. Cortes only pitched that changeup twice before in the ongoing season. Moreover, he did that 30 times in the whole 2023 season.

However, Nestor Cortes pointed out that there were a few players in the Marlins team who had “Big swings.” He thought they would be susceptible to the off-speed delivery. Moreover, Cortes said he got into counts where he could pitch the changeup. He executed it well and felt that was the biggest thing for him on Monday. Cortes was happy with the “Pinpoint” execution of the changeup.

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