What hamstring injury? Yankees' Nestor Cortes says 'everything felt good' after bullpen session
TAMPA, Fla. — It might be the fastest-healing Grade 2 hamstring strain in history.
Nestor Cortes, who pulled out of the World Baseball Classic (March 8-21) with what he called a “low Grade 2” right hamstring strain on Monday, was back on the mound Friday throwing a bullpen session.
After the lefthander finished his 22-pitch session, he got in some running at what manager Aaron Boone estimated was “75-80%.”
“Everything felt good, better than I expected, actually,” Cortes said. “I’m not running yet at 95-100% . . . trying not to reaggravate it. We’re going slow on that part, but as far as throwing, I haven’t shut down or anything.”
Boone said he was “encouraged” watching Cortes.
“Nestor was really sharp,” he said. “His stuff was really good. His command and sharpness in his bullpen was really good. No issues for him as far as getting over that front leg or anything like that. He continues to move in a good direction.”
Cortes, who was slated to pitch for Team USA in the WBC, told reporters Monday that he anticipated being down at least “a couple of weeks.”
Like most teams if given truth serum, the Yankees would acknowledge that they prefer to have their players, pitchers especially, not participate in the WBC.
Just two weeks ago, they did not give Luis Severino permission to pitch for the Dominican Republic because of his extensive injury history over the last three seasons.
Cortes is coming off a season in which he went 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA and threw a career-high 158 1⁄3 innings. He said among his goals for 2023 is to surpass that total.
“They know that’s on my mind,” he said.
Prospect Wells hurting
Catcher Austin Wells, among the Yankees’ top position prospects in camp, will be sidelined indefinitely with what Boone called “a rib issue that came up a few days ago.” Friday marked two straight days with no baseball activities for the 28th overall pick in 2020.