The New York Yankees are planning to place left-handed starting pitcher Nestor Cortes on the injured list due to an issue with his throwing shoulder, according to manager Aaron Boone. Cortes hasn't been able to fully recover between starts, Boone said, and he'll have an MRI on either Monday or Tuesday (via Bryan Hoch). The Yankees are hoping he'll only miss a start or two.
Perhaps of greater concern is that 2022 AL MVP Aaron Judge is out of the lineup Sunday against the Dodgers after his crashing catch into the Dodger Stadium wall Saturday night. It sounds like he could be available off the bench Sunday, but when asked if Judge would be placed on the injured list, Boone initially said he didn't know.
"I don't know. Not at this point. We'll see how he is today, tomorrow and the next day." (via Hoch)
That's at least mildly concerning. Through 49 games this season, Judge is hitting .291/.404/.674 (193 OPS+) with 10 homers, 40 RBI and 42 runs. Here's the grab from Saturday night:
For now, we'll assume Judge can return in the next few days while Cortes is the big name headed to the IL.
Cortes, 28, was an All-Star and finished ninth in AL Cy Young voting last season. This year, through 11 starts, he's 5-2 with a 5.16 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 59 strikeouts against 19 walks in 59 1/3 innings. At this point last season, he had a 1.50 ERA, so it's been quite the contrast.
Still, starters Carlos Rodón and Frankie Montas remain on the injured list and the team is better with Cortes than without him, so this is a blow. Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Domingo Germán and Clarke Schmidt are the four starters for the time being with Jhony Brito or Randy Vásquez being possibilities for the short-term fill in the fifth slot as long as Cortes is out.
The hope from the Bronx would be that whatever is going on with Cortes' shoulder gets fixed with a start or two off and then he starts to resemble the pitcher he was last season.
The Yankees were uninspiring through April, but just completed a 19-10 May and enter Sunday's action 10 games over .500 while occupying a playoff spot in the standings.