The New York Yankees are traditionally known for their incredible offensive players, perhaps more than their pitching, throughout history.
This doesn’t mean they haven’t had great pitchers: after all, Lefty Gomez, Whitey Ford, Ron Guidry, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina, CC Sabathia, and Gerrit Cole have donned the pinstripes, among others.
But Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez are universally recognized as some of the very best players in the history of the game.
This season, Nestor Cortes proved that he could have one of the best pitching seasons in Yankees recent history, even if the sample size (158.1 innings) isn’t the biggest.
“Nestor Cortes is the first pitcher in Yankees history to finish a season with an ERA below 2.45 and a WHIP below 0.94 (min. 150 IP),” MLB stats expert Katie Sharp tweeted.
Nestor Cortes is the first pitcher in Yankees history to finish a season with an ERA below 2.45 and a WHIP below 0.94 (min. 150 IP)
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) October 1, 2022
One Of The Best Seasons Ever By A Yankees Pitcher
Cortes is 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP.
He also struck out 163 hitters and earned 3.6 Wins Above Replacement (WAR).
Had he pitched closer to 200 innings, Cortes could have been a legitimate Cy Young candidate in the American League.
That wasn’t the case, so he has to settle with having completed one of the best seasons ever by a Yankees hurler in the ERA department.
That’s not too shabby!
When it comes to run prevention, Cortes proved he is the best on the Yankees’ staff despite not having elite power stuff.
His fastball barely cracks 93 mph, yet he can change speeds, has several pitches in his repertoire, can change angles and deliveries, and has impeccable command.
Those weapons allow him to thrive in a world filled with hitters capable of hitting a lot of home runs.NEXT: The Yankees Have Big Reinforcements On The Way