World Baseball Classic: Yankees’ Nestor Cortes off Team USA due to injury
New York Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes will miss next months World Baseball Classic due to
New York Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes will miss next month's World Baseball Classic due to a strained right hamstring, but hasn't ruled out being ready for the start of the MLB season.
Colorado Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland replaced Cortes on the United States roster.
"Came in on Wednesday and told the staff I was a little banged up," Cortes said Monday at the Yankeesâ€™ minor league complex. "After long talks, obviously, the best interest was to stay out of it. The biggest goal right here is to get healthy and be ready for the start of the season. I think itâ€™s something thatâ€™s definitely doable to start the season off healthy and in the rotation."
Cortes said the injury is a low grade two strain and there is no timeframe for his return. He will not pitch for at least two weeks.
Cortes first felt a tweak a week ago while running sprints at home.
"Didnâ€™t think of it much," Cortes said. "I thought it was just a cramp. Later that night went to put on a shoe and kind of felt a little pull there. Once I showed up here it was a little bruised. Weâ€™re taking it day by day. Weâ€™re seeing how I progress."
Cortes went 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA in 28 starts during an All-Star season last year.
"I was very excited for it," Cortes said. "Wanted to represent Team USA, a country that gave me a lot of opportunities to do a lot of the stuff Iâ€™m doing today. Very disappointed and obviously, very sad I canâ€™t participate."
Cortes was sidelined from Aug. 21 to Sept, 8 and pulled from Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the eventual World Series champion Houston Astros last year because of groin injuries.
"Took care of it all offseason," Cortes said. "Was down in Miami rehabbing it throughout the whole offseason. It feels great. No soreness."
The 2023 World Baseball Classic will still feature a loaded USA roster led by captain Mike Trout, as well as several other MLB stars competing for their home countries, such as Puerto Rico's Javier Baez and Francisco Lindor, the Dominican Republic's Juan Soto and Julio Rodriguez, and Japan's Shohei Ohtani.
The tournament will run from March 8 to March 21 and can be seen exclusively in the U.S. on the FOX family of networks and the FOX Sports App.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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