Yankees newfound ace Nestor Cortes is making franchise history

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The once-castaway Yankee has been dominant in 2022.

You know Nestor Cortes is special when even his Yankees rotation mate and staff ace Gerrit Cole believes the former should be the favorite to capture the AL Cy Young Award in 2022. And what a high honor that would be for the lefty Cortes, who was a Yankee once upon a time before this breakout.

That’s right, Cortes was with the Bronx Bombers in 2019, when he pitched to a 5.67 ERA in 66.2 innings, primarily out of the bullpen. But no one remembers that.

Yankees fans will remember Cortes now, though, as he’s essentially become the ace of a very good starting group in the Bronx. He’s even making franchise history with his video game-like numbers on the mound this season.

Yankees’ Nestor Cortes making franchise history in 2022

A razor-thin 1.50 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 10 starts? That’s nasty (Nestor), and he’s the only Yankee with those stats through this sample size in the franchise’s century-plus existence.

Amazingly, Cortes’ ERA was 1.70 entering his start Thursday against the Angels, who have a formidable lineup. He shaved it down to 1.50 after finishing off the Halos with seven scoreless innings at Yankee Stadium.

Cortes isn’t making history with high-octane fastballs or with an intimidating presence on the mound. Instead, he relies on deception and movement, things that have clearly worked for the lefty in 2022. And who can forget that signature mustache?  In fact, Cortes is so memorable that broadcasters are even conjuring up nicknames for him!

The Yankees have been a force this season, and Cortes has undoubtedly been a major reason for that. With him and Gerrit Cole paired together, combined with a healthy Luis Severino and perhaps a pitcher not yet with New York, the Bronx Bombers could be headed places in 2022.

It’s going to be fun to watch Cortes and his incredible story help pitch his team into postseason contention the rest of the way.

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