His fastball tops out at 93-94 mph, so he has to resort to different resources to retire hitters.
He changes speeds, he messes with hitter’s timing, he will a quick pitch every once in a while, and he will also start his delivery and delay it for a few seconds to try to trick the batter.
MLB stats expert Sarah Langs tweeted a funny exchange Cortes had with MLB insider Buster Olney.
“Nestor Cortes on his unique deliveries to @Buster_ESPN— gold! ‘a couple starts in a row, i didn’t do anything & guys were like ‘why don’t you do that funkiness anymore?’ and i was like ‘i’m trying to get respected as a real pitcher!” as opposed to a ‘funky lefty,'” Cortes, hilariously, said according to Langs’ Twitter account.
Nestor Cortes on his unique deliveries to @Buster_ESPN — gold!
"a couple starts in a row, i didn't do anything & guys were like 'why don't you do that funkiness anymore?' and i was like 'i'm trying to get respected as a real pitcher!'"
as opposed to a "funky lefty"
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) September 26, 2022
Silencing The Critics
While there are still people who believe Cortes is about to turn back into a pumpkin anytime now, he has earned the respect of the vast majority of people involved in baseball – players, coaches, managers, scouts and evaluators, media, and fans – because he has gotten elite results for two seasons in a row.
For the 2022 season, he has an elite 2.56 ERA in 151 frames; after dominating the Boston Red Sox for six innings on Sunday night.
His 3.25 Fielding Independent Pitching, or FIP, validates his success, and despite a groin injury that took him almost 15 days this month, he is the Yankees pitcher with the most Wins Above Replacement (WAR), at 3.3.
All things considered, it’s safe to say Cortes is more than just a funky lefty: he is the real deal and may be the Yanks’ ace.