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Yankees call up Nestor Cortes, option Jake Barrett to Triple-A

The Yankees reshuffled their roster a bit to get a fresh arm in the bullpen.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have announced that they’ve added left-hander Nestor Cortes to the 25-man roster. They optioned right-hander Jake Barrett following last night’s loss to the Mariners. In order to make room for Cortes on the 40-man roster, the Yankees moved Dellin Betances to the 60-day IL.

Cortes’ promotion gives the Yankees a fresh arm after a relatively short start from Jonathan Loaisiga yesterday. Barrett’s performance in relief of Loaisiga certainly didn’t help his chances of staying on the roster, as he let the game get away in the final innings, allowing five runs across two frames. Barrett never really got a chance to settle in in the bigs, yielding six runs across 3.2 innings.

This isn’t actually Cortes’ first stint in the majors. He was selected by the Orioles in the Rule-5 Draft prior to last season, and tossed 4.2 innings with Baltimore. He was returned to New York after allowing ten hits and four runs.

Cortes minor-league track record looks more impressive. He has maintained a career 2.64 ERA across 473 innings in the minors. He spent almost all of 2018 in Triple-A, posting a 3.71 ERA and 96 strikeouts against 37 walks in 111.2 innings. He’s upped his strikeout rate this year, striking out 34 batters in 33.2 innings at Triple-A in 2019, albeit with a 4.54 ERA.

In any event, Cortes provides Aaron Boone another option from the left side in relief. We’ll see how long the Yankees run with Cortes in the Bronx, and whether Chad Green will be the next reliever brought up from the minors.