The New York Yankees pitching rotation has been incomplete since the start of the 2023 season. Injuries have barred the Yanks from the luxury of having a full five-member rotation. Frankie Montas was the first straw, as he faced a season-ending injury during spring training. Further, Carlos Rodon suffered multiple setbacks, which led to months of absence.
Domingo German and Clarke Schmidt received an opportunity to become regular starters. However, their inconsistency on the mound did not help the Yankees much. Another key starting pitcher, Nestor Cortes, faced an injury setback a few weeks ago, which shut him down completely. However, recent developments suggest that the pitcher might be on his way back to New York shortly.
Nestor Cortes Dazzles In Rehab Assignment With Double-A Somerset Patriots
New York Yankees’ strong left-handed starting pitcher Nestor Cortes started the season with high expectations. Due to the lack of starters in the rotation, pitching responsibilities shifted to Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes, as they were the only senior throwers available. While ace Gerrit Cole lived up to every ounce of responsibility, Cortes faced his fair share of struggles. So far in the season, he has pitched a 5.16 ERA in over 59 innings. To make matters worse, the pitcher fell prey to a grievous injury. A few weeks ago, Cortes was diagnosed with a strained left rotator cuff, which forced him to shut down throwing activities for a brief period. It was only after a cortisone shot the pitcher returned to throwing bullpen sessions.
Shortly after resuming throwing, Nestor Cortes displayed quick progress. As a result, last week, the Yankees handed the pitcher a rehab assignment with Double-A Somerset Patriots. He had one start on Sunday, wherein he allowed one run with four strikeouts in over 2 innings pitched. However, on Friday, the pitcher had a better day. In Cortes’ second rehab start, he threw four scoreless innings while allowing mere two hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Moreover, the SP’s pitch count remained at 49 pitches, out of which 36 were called strikes. As per Yankees manager Aaron Boone, Nestor Cortes will require one or two additional rehab starts before eventually returning to the lineup. The pitcher’s current timeline allows him to get activated in the first week of August. By the early looks of it, the pitcher is likely to adhere to the set timeline.
Aaron Judge Return To Yankees Lineup After Months-Long Absence
The most awaited moment for Yankee fans came to life on Friday. The fans saw a glimpse of their captain Aaron Judge for the first time in nearly two months. He had been on IL since June 3 due to torn toe ligament injury. Recently, the slugger played simulated games in Tampa, which cleared him to return on an immediate basis. The club did not have any timeline in place. As soon as Judge felt ready to return, the Yanks reinstated him from IL.
On Friday, Aaron Judge faced the Orioles as a designated hitter and walked three times. However, the slugger could not score in the Yankee’s 1-0 loss to the Orioles. Nevertheless, the early signs looked good. For now, the captain is likely to be restricted to DH’s role. Slowly and gradually, he will move into the outfield once he feels better.