New York Yankees pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr. will represent Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March 2023.
The tournament, organized by MLB, will have its fifth edition: two were won by Japan, one by the Dominican Republic, and the last one (in 2017) by the United States.
Cortes, who has Cuban roots, opted to represent the country in which he has lived for almost all his life.
The Yankees’ lefty was born in Surgidero de Batabanó, Cuba.
However, he has lived in the United States since he was seven months old, when his father, Nestor Cortés Sr., won the visa lottery.
Longtime St. Louis Cardinal Adam Wainwright will also pitch for Team USA.
Wainwright's longtime batterymate, Yadier Molina, is set to manage Team Puerto Rico.
The tournament begins on March 8 and ends on March 21.
— John Sparaco™ (@JohnSparaco) November 29, 2022
Fans Are Happy For Cortes
Fans are happy to see Cortes, a true resilience story, pitch for the United States in the WBC.
Very well for My yankee NÉSTOR CORTES https://t.co/4RiXkkGeAw
— John Connor (@jeanmarra) November 29, 2022
The spot is more than deserved: he had a brilliant 2.44 ERA and was dominant all year.
The 158.1 innings Cortes pitched in 2022 were by far a career-high.
He was equally effective in the postseason and emerged as a top of the rotation stalwart for the Yankees.
He earned the respect of his own teammates and rivals, and also went to his first All-Star Game.
Even Houston Astros fans will be rooting for him in the WBC.
If I have to root for Nestor Cortes can I at least root for Yordan Alvarez https://t.co/8MEIlefTA5
— Bad Orange Machine (@BOMsqwad) November 29, 2022
It’s not hard to see him dominating next spring, and the memes are starting to appear on Twitter.
Nestor Cortes playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic: pic.twitter.com/lpWq8YSj4N
— ZT (@NY_EvilEmpire) November 29, 2022
By now, fans know the path Cortes has had to take to get to where he currently is.
Spoiler alert: it hasn’t been easy.
Nestor Cortes went from being relatively unknown to all star pitcher for the most historic MLB franchise to now pitching in the WBC. All that’s missing is a Cy young award and a ring
— Jonathan (@Jon_94_) November 29, 2022
He has earned it all with hard work and determination, and will now represent his country at the biggest of stages.