Nestor Cortes
Gregory Fisher | USA TODAY Sports

It’s not what you want.

Yankees southpaw Nestor Cortes will not participate in the World Baseball Classic due to a right hamstring injury. He told reporters Monday in Tampa that he hopes to be ready for the start of the season. But he will be off a mound for at least two weeks with a Grade 2 strain.

Team USA will miss Cortes. But the Yankees will miss him a heck of a lot more if this issue lingers for long. It’s a concerning sign after Cortes dealt with a groin injury last season that required an Injured List stint and cut short an ALCS start against the Astros. And the Yankees now need to take stock of their rotation as spring training begins.

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The Yankees already know they’ll be without Frankie Montas for at least the first month of the season. If Cortes ends up missing time, they will be rolling with just ace Gerrit Cole, free agency pickup Carlos Rodon and Luis Severino — who was blocked from playing for the Dominican Republic in the WBC — to start. Domingo German could patch things up and you don’t need a fifth starter much early on. But more bad news on Cortes could put a move for another arm on the table.

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James Kratch can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.