Yankees' Nestor Cortes, after one start, goes back on IL

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Friday, August 11, 2023

MIAMI -- Nestor Cortes' season with the New York Yankees could be over after he went back on the injured list with a strained left rotator cuff, one start into his return from a two-month layoff.

The 28-year-old left-hander was put on the 15-day IL on Friday, six days after pitching four innings against Houstonin his first big league appearance since May 30.

"We haven't received all the details. I learned of the results when I got to the stadium," Cortes said before the Yankees played Miami. "The one thing I was told is I cannot throw a baseball for four weeks. After that, we don't know. It all depends on how I'm feeling with the recovery."

Cortes is 5-2 with a 4.97 ERA in 12 starts, allowing 11 home runs in 63 innings. He went 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA last year, earning his first All-Star selection.

Cortes made minor league injury rehabilitation appearances for Double-A Somerset on July 23 and 29, then threw 64 pitches against the Astros on Aug. 5. He gave up one hit, a solo homer by Jose Altuve.

"Definitely disappointing. Feeling for Nestor," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "He put himself in a really good spot to get back. He was throwing the ball so well and had a great first start coming back off the IL. He just didn't recover properly."

Cortes could not throw his scheduled bullpen session on Thursday. The injury is similar to what first landed him on the IL.

"You're talking three or four weeks of no throw," Boone said. "Then, essentially starting over from there. We'll see where we are in a few weeks."

Cortes was born in Cuba and grew up in Hialeah, Florida. He had been scheduled to start Saturday and had reserved 40 tickets for each game of the series for family and friends.

"I was super proud, looking forward on returning to Miami and pitching in front of all the fans," Cortes said. "This is not how I wanted it to happen but these are setbacks that you encounter in life."

New York made the IL move retroactive to Tuesday and recalled right-handers Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre.