Nestor Cortes is getting back in the game!
The 28-year-old Cuban-American professional baseball pitcher will return to the New York Yankees‘ rotation this weekend in a four-game series against the Houston Astros after missing more than two months with a left rotator cuff strain.
Cortes was scheduled to make a third minor league rehab start on Wednesday.
When he arrived to get his things and travel to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the left-hander was told he would start either Saturday or Sunday.
“I was made aware of it today before I got in. I was supposed to come and pick up my stuff before I got to Scranton,” Cortes said. “That’s kind of what I know.”
Cortes will throw one more bullpen session Thursday and likely be limited to around 60 pitches in his first outing since May 30, when his shoulder started bothering him.
Cortes was initially placed on the 15-day injured list June 8 and hoped to only miss two or three starts. The Yankees moved him to the 60-day injured list July 7.
“I’ve been on the shelf too long,” Cortes said. “I want to come back and obviously show who I am and be back to the same form I was. So excited for this weekend.”
Cortes is 5-2 with a 5.16 ERA in 11 starts and has particularly struggled later in outings. Opponents are hitting .447 when facing him for the third time in a game.
Last year, Cortes was an MLB All-Star and went 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA in 28 starts.
New York manager Aaron Boone said he would likely know the exact date of Cortes’ return after Wednesday’s game.
Boone also said Luis Severino will make his next scheduled start Friday against Houston. Severino (2-5, 7.49 ERA) had a bullpen session with pitching adviser Andy Pettitte after allowing nine runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings in a loss on Sunday.