Nestor Cortes made his first rehab start today, marking his first official game since May 30th. The 28-year-old southpaw has been on the Yankees 60-day injured list, sidelined by rotator cuff inflammation, and is eligible to be activated on August 4th.
Overall, 2023 hasn’t featured a pretty stat line, Cortes is 5-2 with a 5.16 ERA in 11 starts. You would have to look back to 2020 for the last time Nestor’s ERA was above the 5.00 line.
Cortes took the mound to close the Somerset v. Yard Goats series. A final line of 2.1 IP, 4H, 4 K's and 1 ER, would mark a successful day. The earned run allowed was an empty base homer, as the seasoned vet approached his pitch count limit, being taken out of the game shortly after.
Though allowing four hits in 2.1 innings, Cortes had a strong outing; and frankly it is something the Yankees needed. Standing in fourth place in the ALE, New York still has a playoff chance, via a wild card berth. Once a healthy Nestor rejoins the Bronx clubhouse, New York would get their reliable No.3 rotation option back.
Willie Calhoun last played in the majors on June 22nd, falling on the IL with a left quad strain. The freshman Yankee was also on his rehab assignment with Somerset, once again being in the DH slot. An 0-for-3 day would plunge his average below .150; as the Yankees’ outfielder looks healthy, but continues to have hitting concerns. In 44 Major League games this season, Calhoun is hitting .239 with a .712 OPS.
Calhoun was pinch-hit for late in the game, as that most likely spells the end to a multi-game rehab stint with Somerset. It is expected that Calhoun will either have his rehab assignment extended to triple-AAA, or be put on the Yankees active roster.