Nestor Cortes
Gregory Fisher | USA TODAY Sports

Popular Yankees lefty Nestor Cortes is headed to the injured list with an injured shoulder, according to manager Aaron Boone. Rookie Randy Vasquez will take Cortes’ turn in the rotation against the White Sox on Wednesday.

The Yankees have been preparing for this move. Boone noted Sunday that Cortes’ shoulder was sore and he was having problems with recovering between starts. Nestor Cortes is 5-2 in 11 starts this year, but his ERA has ballooned to 5.16. It was 2.44 in 2022.

Speaking to Gary Phillips of the Daily News, Cortes said he hoped to only miss two or three starts. Additionally, he added his injury had nothing to do with his struggling in games. The crafty lefty has noticeably struggled this year, particularly his third time facing a lineup. Rather, he says his issue “is more of getting prepared between starts” than being overall sore.

In the meantime, Randy Vasquez gets to make his second career start. He made his MLB debut against the Padres on May 26 and took the loss, allowing two runs in 4.2 innings. However, Vasquez stuff plays and he also struck out six.

As for Nestor Cortes, perhaps it’s just general fatigue that’s affecting his rest between starts. Looking at his MLB career, it actually makes sense. His path to becoming the Hialeah Kid was anything but traditional over the last six years. He’s thrown 310.2 innings over his last three seasons after tossing just 76 total over his first three.

The Yankees really need Cortes at his best if they’re serious about the World Series in 2023. $162 million man Carlos Rodon still has no timetable for a return. Frankie Montas is still recovering from shoulder surgery.

Gerrit Cole can only do so much as the staff ace, especially with Luis Severino proving streaky again. Let’s hope some rest and time off is all Nestor Cortes needs to pitch better.


Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.