Cortes likely headed to IL with shoulder injury

June 4th, 2023

LOS ANGELES -- The Yankees’ rotation depth will be further tested. Nestor Cortes is expected to land on the 15-day injured list with a left shoulder injury, manager Aaron Boone said prior to Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.

Cortes is expected to undergo an MRI on Monday or Tuesday in New York to determine the severity of the injury. Boone said that Cortes has been having difficulty bouncing back between starts.

“We don’t think it’s anything too major, but the last couple of times recovering in between, he’s had that achiness,” Boone said.

Cortes last pitched on Tuesday at Seattle, going five innings and allowing two runs on five hits while striking out six in a victory.

Boone said that he does not believe Cortes is looking at possible surgery.

“That’s our sense now, but again, we haven’t had tests,” Boone said. “That’s the trainers’ sense, that this is probably not [surgery]. But then again, we’re speculating there.”

Cortes is expected to join shelved Yankees starters Carlos Rodón and Frankie Montas, neither of whom have pitched an inning for the club this season. Luis Severino missed most of the first two months and has made three starts thus far.

An American League All-Star last year, Cortes’ season preparation was delayed by a right hamstring strain that prompted his exit from the World Baseball Classic, where he had committed to pitch for Team USA.

In 11 starts this season, the 28-year-old Cortes has posted a 5-2 record with a 5.16 ERA, frequently struggling the third time through the batting order.

Clarke Schmidt will start in place of Cortes on Tuesday against the White Sox at Yankee Stadium, and Wednesday’s starter has not yet been announced. Jhony Brito and Randy Vásquez are possibilities, as they are both on the 40-man roster.

“I have an idea, but we’ll make that call here over the next couple of days,” Boone said.