The New York Yankees announced on Thursday morning that they have promoted lefty Nestor Cortes Jr. to the big league club. They have sent down reliever Jake Barrett to open up a major league roster spot, and they transferred Dellin Betances to the 60-day IL (retroactive to opening day) to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
Cortes has had an interesting career arc. The 24-year-old southpaw has been solid since joining the Yankees minor league system in 2013. He was a 36th round draft pick in 2013 and steadily gaining prominence since then.
He gained so much prominence, in fact, that the Baltimore Orioles selected him in the Rule 5 draft ahead of the 2018 season. They did not keep him on their MLB roster for the entirety of the season, so they had to return him to the Yankees. He wasn’t great, but he had only appeared in 29 games above A-ball to that point. His 4.2 innings of 7.71 ERA baseball make more sense when you take it into that context.
Since returning to the Yankees, and focusing on his development again, he’s been good again. He had a 3.71 ERA in 111.2 IP with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2018 and had a 4.54 ERA with them in 33.2 IP this year. Despite the ERA jump, his FIP has gone down from 4.17 in 2018 to 3.96 now. The Yankees have determined he’s ready to eat some innings in the big leagues now, and he has been called up again to make his “real” MLB debut.
I don’t necessarily expect much from him right now, but it would be cool to have a young lefty come up and be good for us for a little bit, especially while James Paxton and Luis Severino are still out.