Nestor Cortes
Gregory Fisher | USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees’ hopes for a sprint into the playoffs took a big hit Friday when lefty starter Nestor Cortes went back on the injured list.

A team announcement stated that Cortes re-strained his left rotator cuff that caused him to miss two months in the first place. Rookie Jhony Brito will likely take his spot in the rotation.

It’s an awful blow for the Yankees with worse timing. Nestor Cortes returned from the injured list against the Astros last weekend and pitched four innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 win. He also allowed just one hit, one walk, and struck out eight. Cortes’ fastball also hit a career-high 94 mph.

Speaking to media before Friday’s game against the Marlins, Cortes said he would be shut down for a month. Safe to say, his season is probably over.

And with that, the Yankees’ probably is too. The team really needs him in the rotation behind ace Gerrit Cole. Especially with how Luis Severino and Carlos Rodon have struggled this year. The Yankees are also down righty Domingo German.

Throw in a lineup that can do anything but hit consistently, and it truly has been an awful 2023. The silver lining is that as of now, per Nestor Cortes himself, surgery isn’t on the table. Only more rest and rehab.

I’m going to say it loud and clear one more time for the fans still in denial. The 2023 New York Yankees season is over. It was a good try but injuries, underperformance, and other uncontrollable factors had other ideas.

The best thing the Yankees can do, in the meantime, is shut Nestor Cortes down for the season. Try more rest and rehab and then just move him into offseason mode. He’s too important to the team’s future and the sooner he can get healthy, be it by surgery or rehab, the 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.