It’s not a secret that the New York Yankees‘ main strength is their rotation.
There is one name missing, though.
Nestor Cortes was supposed to be a “filler” type: instead, he has been the best pitcher of the bunch and one of the best in all Major League Baseball.
His performance hasn’t been all that shocking: after all, he did finish 2021 with a rock-solid 2.90 ERA in 93 frames.
But very few people, if any, had him with a 1.50 ERA in 2022 in the beginning of June.
Not only that: there is no starter in MLB with a better ERA than him.
“Nestor Cortes leads MLB with a 1.50 ERA The last Yankee pitcher to lead the Majors in ERA was Ron Guidry in 1978 (1.74 ERA),” New York Yankees Stats tweeted.
Nestor Cortes leads MLB with a 1.50 ERA
The last Yankee pitcher to lead the Majors in ERA was Ron Guidry in 1978 (1.74 ERA) pic.twitter.com/L9jsvaAD8t
— New York Yankees Stats (@nyyankeesstats) June 6, 2022
Can Cortes Do What Guidry Did?
The “Louisiana Lightning”, a fellow left-hander just like Cortes, won the AL Cy Young in 1978, and the Yankees took home the World Series trophy.
Are those outcomes reachable for the funky southpaw this time around?
If he keeps pitching like this, there is no way he can lose the award.
Not only does he have amazing run-prevention numbers, but he is striking hitters out at a 29.7% clip and has managed to keep his walks down, at 6.1%.
He maxes out at 92 mph and regularly throws in the 90-91 range, but misses bats, has elite command, and a deep arsenal.
He is also fearless on the mound, messes with hitters’ timing, and changes angles and releases.
He is one of the most unpredictable pitchers in baseball, and has managed to turn a somewhat limited physical profile into excellent production.
Not too shabby.