Nestor Cortes, coming off an improbable All-Star season, was knocked around at the end of Wednesday’s start against the Orioles, finishing his night with four earned runs in six-plus innings of work.
The lackluster outing moved Cortes’ ERA to a bloated 6.97 over his last six starts, after beginning the season with a 3.09 ERA over his first four starts of the season.
Given his recent struggles, Tiki says Cortes has lost his trust, and it could get rough for the Yankees rotation if the lefty has come back down to earth.
“Last year, Nestor Cortes was one of the great stories in New York baseball…a guy who was an All-Star and pitched to a sub-.300 ERA, and he took the ball every five days,” Tiki said. “You just knew he could give you five or six solid innings. You could count on him.
“This year, something is different. It’s not an injury thing. It may just be the book on him. But that feel-good that I had for Nestor is gone, and that trust that I’m gonna get five or six solid innings out of him is gone.”
With the Yankees still waiting to get their first glimpse of Carlos Rodon, while Frankie Montas remains out until the back end of the season and Luis Severino looks to end years of injuries, Cortes devolving back to his 2019 form would be a huge blow for New York.
“That portends bad things for this Yankee rotation,” Tiki said. “We know Gerrit Cole is an ace…behind him, there is not a lot of solutions. Nestor was supposed to be one of them, and I don’t trust him anymore.”
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