CORTES Nestor (Nasty Nestor)
Person
CORTES Nestor (Nasty Nestor)

CORTES
Nestor
(Nasty
Nestor)

Cuban-American professional baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees

Organization: Major League Baseball (MLB)

Date of Birth: 10 December 1994

Age: 29 years old

Zodiac sign: Sagittarius

Profession: Baseballer

Content

Biography

Nestor Cortés Jr., nicknamed "Nasty Nestor" and "the Hialeah Kid", is a Cuban-American professional baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has previously played in MLB for the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners.

The Yankees selected Cortés in the 36th round of the 2013 MLB draft. Taken by the Orioles in the Rule 5 draft after the 2017 season, he made his MLB debut with them in 2018 before returning to the Yankees. Cortés pitched for the Yankees in 2019 and the Mariners in 2020, rejoining the Yankees in 2021. Cortés was an MLB All-Star in 2022.

Career

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees selected Cortés in the 36th round of the 2013 MLB draft. He signed with the Yankees, receiving an $85,000 signing bonus, and made his professional debut that year with the Gulf Coast Yankees of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where he had a 0–1 win–loss record with a 4.42 earned run average (ERA) in 18+1⁄3 innings pitched. He returned there in 2014, going 1–2 with a 2.27 ERA in 11 games (two starts). Cortés spent 2015 with the Pulaski Yankees of the Rookie-level Appalachian League, where he compiled a 6–3 record with a 2.26 ERA in 12 games (ten starts). In 2016, he pitched for the Charleston RiverDogs of the Single–A South Atlantic League, Tampa Yankees of the High–A Florida State League, Trenton Thunder of the Double–A Eastern League, and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders of the Triple–A International League, pitching to a combined 11–4 record with a 1.53 ERA in 21 games (12 starts). Cortés played 2017 with Tampa, Trenton, and the RailRiders. He finished the season with a 2.06 ERA between the three levels.

Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles selected Cortés from the Yankees organization in the 2017 Rule 5 draft. During spring training with the Orioles, Cortés competed for a spot on the Orioles' Opening Day roster as either a starting pitcher or relief pitcher.

Cortés made the Orioles' Opening Day roster in 2018 as a relief pitcher, and made his major league debut on March 31. Cortés allowed a grand slam to Josh Reddick on April 3, and then a walk with the bases loaded to Curtis Granderson followed by a grand slam by Josh Donaldson on April 9. The Orioles designated Cortés for assignment the next day. He had allowed four runs on ten hits, including two home runs, in four games pitched.

New York Yankees (second stint)

On April 13, 2018, the Orioles returned Cortés to the Yankees. He played in one game for Trenton before returning to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, combining for a 6–6 record and a 3.68 ERA in 24 games. After the regular season, Cortés played for the Estrellas Orientales of the Dominican Professional Baseball League, where he learned how to throw a cut fastball.

The Yankees invited Cortés to spring training as a non-roster player in 2019. He did not make the team and was assigned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees promoted him to the major leagues on May 9. On June 15, he earned his first major league win, striking out seven batters, and allowing two earned runs in five innings. The Yankees optioned him to Triple-A with Aaron Judge coming off the injured list on June 21; he was promoted to the major league roster on June 23 when Cameron Maybin went on the injured list. He was 5–1 with an ERA of 5.67 in 33 games.

Seattle Mariners

On November 25, 2019, the Yankees traded Cortés to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for $28,300 of international bonus pool money. He hurt his elbow in August, ending up on the injured list. Working at the Mariners' alternate training site, a coach helped him to change the grip of his fastball, which helped him to add backspin to the pitch. In 2020, Cortés gave up 13 runs over 7+2⁄3 innings pitched for the Mariners. On October 22, 2020, Cortés was outrighted off of the 40-man roster after he was activated from the 60-day injured list, and elected free agency.

New York Yankees (third stint)

On December 20, 2020, Cortés signed a minor league contract to return to the New York Yankees organization. Cortés began the 2021 season with the RailRiders, and the Yankees promoted him to the major leagues on May 30. Throughout the 2021 season, Cortés became a favorite of Yankees fans, as his signature mustache, along with his unique style of pitching and many productive appearances garnered him much praise, along with the moniker "Nasty Nestor." He finished the year with 93 innings pitched over 22 games (14 started) to go along with a 2.90 ERA and 103 strikeouts.

Cortés began the 2022 season in the Yankees starting rotation. Cortés threw an immaculate inning against the Orioles on April 16. Against the Texas Rangers on May 9, Cortés pitched 7+1⁄3 innings before allowing his first hit. He was selected for the 2022 All-Star Game, where he registered two strikeouts, a hit by pitch, and a walk in an inning pitched. He finished the regular season with a 12-4 record and a 2.44 ERA in 158+1⁄3 innings pitched in 28 games started. In November 2022, Cortés announced his intention to represent the United States national baseball team in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, held in March 2023. He withdrew from the tournament due to a hamstring injury.

Cortes began the 2023 season out of the Yankees' rotation, posting a 5.16 ERA across 11 starts. On June 8, 2023, he was placed on the injured list with a left rotator cuff strain. He was transferred to the 60-day injured list on July 7. Cortes was activated on August 5. He made one start and returned to the injured list on August 11 due to the rotator cuff strain. He was transferred to the 60–day injured list on September 12, officially ending his season. In 12 starts, he logged a 5–2 record and 4.97 ERA with 67 strikeouts in 63+1⁄3 innings pitched.

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